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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
Drysdale and Clarke in front
This is Drysdale first season on tour
David Drysdale shot a solid second round 67

Darren Clarke shares the lead at the end of the second day of the Compass Group English Open at the Forest of Arden with Scottish rookie David Drysdale.

However, the Ulsterman, winner of the title two of the last three years, thought he could have been three shots clear but for a decision by officials.

Rain halted play for just under an hour in mid-afternoon, but all the players affected were kept on the course throughout the stoppage.

"I didn't think it was right," said Clarke after posting a 70 to match Drysdale's nine-under-par halfway total of 135.

"I thought they could have called us in. We were on the 10th fairway and it was raining for the majority of the time.

"I wasted probably three shots when we resumed and I put that down mainly to standing around and not having the opportunity to go and hit a few balls and get warmed up again.

"I won't be having words, but it's just disappointing."

Out in 33, Clarke resumed with a bogey five and after that mixed two birdies with two more bogeys, failing to get up and down from sand at the last.

Drysdale made it through the tour school at the fifth attempt last November and has already had two top-10 finishes.

The 27-year-old from Dunbar said: "The first thing is to try and get enough money to keep my card, but there are other things I'm looking at on top of that because I've now had a few good results."

Welsh Ryder Cup player Phillip Price, disappointed to finish third in the British Masters last week after leading with a round to play, is well placed again at eight under.

But only one further back is Justin Rose, who came charging past Price to win at Woburn.

Alongside Rose at seven under is Sheffield's Mark Roe, who on the same course in 1995 was put out of the game when a shot from an amateur in a pro-am struck him on the head, and fellow Brit Darren Prosser.

The 33-year-old Prosser, who has never held a European tour card and has suffered from the energy-sagging ME virus, teaches at a nearby driving range, but was only too happy to call off the classes he had booked.

"My biggest-ever cheque is 6,000 and my main goals here were to have a good time and see if I could make the cut," he said.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Greig Hutcheon and Italian Massimo Scarpa were disqualified from the event for playing when they should not have.

After play was halted, the duo, paired together, made the mistake of starting again five minutes later.

Both were likely to miss the halfway cut - Hutcheon was nine over par at the time with Scarpa three over.

They should have waited for nearly an hour, when another klaxon sounded to restart the action.


Second-round leaderboard (GB and Irl unless stated):
135 - Darren Clarke, David Drysdale
134 - Phillip Price
133 - Mark Roe, Justin Rose, Darren Prosser
132 - Didier de Vooght (Bel), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Jarrod Moseley (Aus), Dennis Edlund (Swe)
131 - Grant Hamerton, Gary Evans, Steve Webster, Johan Skold (Swe), Sam Walker, Jamie Donaldson.

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