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Donaldson and Armitage tied at the top as they finish second rounds 

Donaldson and Armitage tied at the top as they finish second rounds 

Jamie Donaldson and Marcus Armitage remain in a share of the lead at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open after resuming their second rounds on Saturday morning following the suspension of play on Friday due to fading light.


Donaldson was in the fairway of the final hole when play was halted, having made six birdies and one bogey over the first 17 to get to 11 under par for the tournament, while Englishman Armitage had mixed an eagle with five birdies and a solitary bogey in his first 15 holes to join the Welshman at the summit.

Play resumed at 8am local time, and Donaldson was quick to extend the lead with a two-putt birdie at the 18th, setting the clubhouse target at 12 under par and earning the eighth 36-hole lead of his career.

He said: "I hit a good tee shot last night, which was slightly downwind. It was dark but we thought with the bunkers it was a good time to hit a driver. We had done the hard work and I was in a perfect position in the middle of the fairway. Just a six iron in, which I hit on the green and two-putted. Quite happy, just need to keep playing them like that for the next two days as well

"It doesn’t matter what time you seem to get up here. It’s red-hot and beautiful, it’s not as if you’re in the UK at the moment getting up early and it’s absolutely Baltic. It was pretty easy to get up early. Just have to chill out now and get ready for this afternoon."

Armitage, who restarted his round on the 16th green, joined the Welshman at the top with a birdie at the 17th but had to settle for a closing par as his birdie chance slipped by on the final hole.

He said: "I’m just gutted with that putt (on 18), it just dove. We saw it as straight but it turned right at the end. I would have taken that after 36 holes, tied for the lead.

"My game is going in the right direction, you just need to get up there and see how it is over the weekend. Just keep trying to make birdies and keep testing yourself – try and be in the last group tomorrow and give yourself a chance coming down the last few holes."

Scot David Drysdale and early starters Sami Välimäki and Richard McEvoy were the leading duo's nearest challengers on ten under, one stroke ahead of the large group containing first round co-leader Johannes Veerman.

Ryder Cup star Donaldson had made six birdies and no bogeys in his opening 65 on day one, and he picked up where he left off on Friday afternoon, following up back to back birdies at the second and third with further gains on the sixth, seventh and ninth to jump to 11 under par.

Donaldson gave himself further chances in the early stages of his back nine, narrowly missing from six feet on the 11th green after a delightful approach shot.

He eventually grabbed the outright lead on 12 under courtesy of an eight foot birdie putt at the 13th before watching his lengthy birdie try on the 14th hit the hole and run on a further five feet.
Donaldson would miss the return putt to drop his first shot of the tournament so far.

With the sun setting fast, the 45-year-old made pars at the 15th, 16th and 17th before play was halted.

Armitage, playing in the day's final group, opened his second round with a sensational eagle on the par four first before picking up shots on the fourth and sixth to get to nine under.

He bogeyed the short seventh but bounced straight back with a birdie at his very next hole to reach the turn in 32.

The Englishman grabbed a share of the lead after starting his back nine with birdies at the tenth and 11th.


He received a helping hand on the 14th as his long range birdie putt hit the flag, stopping the ball in its tracks and leaving it around a foot from the hole for a certain par.

Armitage made another par on the short 15th before the players ran out of daylight.

Scotland's Drysdale would have been alongside the leaders on 11 under had he not left his seven foot par putt on the last just short.

The 45-year-old, who is searching for his maiden European Tour title at the 509th time of asking, made four birdies and a single bogey on his front nine before adding further birdies at the 11th and 13th.

He was perhaps a little bit unlucky at the 16th, where his 35 foot birdie putt lost a bit of pace when it hit a marker on its way to the hole and pulled up short.

After a lovely up-and-down from the bunker on the 17th for par, Drysdale dropped a shot at the 18th to head into the weekend on ten under.

He said: "A little disappointed to bogey the last. It was a poor lay-up and I got in trouble from there.


"On the other 17 holes there was some pretty solid golf, so I’ve got to be happy with it.

"I’ve been working hard. To be honest I had an injury when I came back. I missed four or five events.

"Trying to get fit and regain some form. My scores haven’t been great but I’ve been starting to see nine holes where there has been good ball striking – that's trending a bit.

"There is a lot of golf to be played.

"I haven’t had that many opportunities over my career. I’ll give it a crack over the weekend and see what happens."

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