MILAN, Italy (AP) — Markus Brier and Alvaro Quiros joined Joakim Backstrom at 10 under Friday at the rain-interrupted Italian Open.
No golfers completed the second round, but Quiros got in 10 holes, while Brier managed to complete eight. Backstrom, who shot a course-record 62 on Thursday, did not start his second round.
Brier, an Austrian who won last month’s China Open in Shanghai, started the day a shot behind Backstrom but drew even with two birdies and a bogey. Quiros was tied for fourth but had a birdie on his third hole of the day and then an eagle on the par-5 No. 1, his final hole before darkness set in.
Defending champion Francesco Molinari and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano were tied for fourth at 8 under midway through their second rounds.
The second round got underway at 7:30 a.m. but a torrential downpour shortly after 8 a.m. flooded the course, forcing a suspension.
Before play resumed at 5:15 p.m., officials announced that preferred lies would be in effect. But because that rule was not in effect during the 50 minutes of play in the morning, the early play was nullified.
“It crossed my mind (to play preferred lies from the outset) but I was brought up in the school of mind that people don’t want to use preferred lies if they don’t have to,” said senior referee Andy McFee.
“It is one of those things where you are not going to please everybody,” McFee added. “You have to make a judgment on what you think is the right thing to do and the right way forward. It will benefit some players, it might hurt others, but overall it will benefit everybody because we will have a much cleaner second round.”
The second round will be completed Saturday morning.
Once all players have completed their second rounds, the cut will be made and, weather permitting, the third round will begin. However, the third round will not begin before 11:00 a.m. EDT.
Philip Price, a former member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, withdrew with a wrist injury, and Notah Begay pulled out with a recurring back problem after play on Thursday.