Golf: Smyth scraps his way to a share of the lead

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DES SMYTH, still with one hole to play in his second round, shares the lead with Australia's Stephen Leaney on nine under par with Mark Davis one shot behind as the Moroccan Open struggled to make up for lost time here yesterday.

Only 72 players of the 142-strong field completed their first rounds on Thursday when play was halted early because of gale force winds and, although the weather was perfect today, 49 players will have to come back early today to complete their second rounds.

Smyth was happy enough. He had equalled the course record with an eight under par 64 in his first round and yesterday he was one under for 17 holes after having four birdies in his last seven holes. "I played scrappy golf today," the Irishman said later. "A bit up and down and I suppose I should have scored better."

Leaney, who is based in Surrey, is delighted with his total of 135 for the two rounds after adding a 67 to his 68 in the first round.

"I only arrived in London from Sydney on Tuesday, having played in the Australasian Tour Championship and I was severely jet-lagged when I arrived here," he said.

Davis, unlike Smyth and Leaney, had to play 30 holes yesterday, having played only six on the opening day, covering them in 10 under par. He complete his first round in 71 and then he played superbly for a 65.