Golf: Play suspended as rain hampers Italian Open

England’s Chris Paisley (above) is provisionally top of the Italian Open leaderboard.
England’s Chris Paisley (above) is provisionally top of the Italian Open leaderboard.PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (AFP) - England's Chris Paisley sat provisionally top of the Italian Open leaderboard with a one-shot lead on compatriot Danny Willett before rain stopped play at the Parco Reale di Monza on Friday (Sept 16).

The tournament is being used by several Ryder Cup stars to prime for the Europe versus US showdown in less than a fortnight.

But for the second day running Lee Westwood and company were at the mercy of the weather.

After several stoppages on Friday, organisers announced it would resume at 7.30am local time on Saturday (2.30pm Singapore time).

"Play to restart at 0730 local time tomorrow," said a brief statement on the organisers' Twitter page.

Defending champion Rikard Karlberg was set to start his second round at the Golf Club di Milano as the man to catch after carding a seven-under-par 64 Thursday, one shot ahead of local hope Francesco Molinari.

But the Swede was among several contenders yet to even tee off as rain hampered efforts to get all the field out on the course.

It means Richard Green is the clubhouse leader, the Australian sitting eight under par after managing to complete two rounds.

"We're very fortunate to have got two rounds done. The guys who haven't even gone out yet have certainly got a raw deal, but that's just the way it goes sometimes," said Green.

"The course was already pretty wet and this rain is only going to make matters worse, so I feel a bit for the guys.

"It was flat calm out there this morning, and this afternoon the conditions were again perfect, apart from when the rain moved in on the final hole.

"But you still have to make the most of your luck, and I managed to do that today."