Tokyo Olympics: Xander Schauffele holds halfway lead as Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry impress
Team Ireland duo Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry four off the halfway lead; Team GB's Paul Casey also on seven under with one hole of his second round to complete and Tommy Fleetwood eight behind 36-hole leader Xander Schauffele
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 31/07/21 8:59am
Xander Schauffele moved into the halfway lead at the Men's Olympic Golf competition, as Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry both jumped up the leaderboard.
Schauffele produced a blistering finish to his second round at Kasumigaseki Country Club, following an eagle at the par-five 14th by birdieing his final three holes to card a round-of-the-day 63.
The American heads into the weekend on 11 under and with a one-shot advantage over Mexico Carlos Ortiz, who had set the initial clubhouse target with a second-round 67, with Alex Noren and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama in the group of four players three off the pace in tied-third.
Matsuyama was six under for his round with two holes to complete when play was suspended for a second time due to the threat of lightning, having been halted for nearly two and a half hours earlier in the day, with the home favourite now needing to return on Saturday morning to finish his second round.
The Japanese was one of 16 players unable to finish on Friday, with Team GB's Paul Casey four off the pace with one hole to play and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout addressing a putt on the final green when the horn sounded around 5.20pm local time (9.20am BST).
Casey is joined on seven under by Lowry, who mixed seven birdies with a lone bogey during his six-under 65, with McIlroy also four off the pace despite closing his second-round 66 with a final-hole bogey.
Champion Golfer of the Year Collin Morikawa, former Masters winner Patrick Reed and Team GB's Tommy Fleetwood are all in the group on three under, while Justin Thomas - who made 18 pars during his opening round - was one under for the day with one hole to complete.
"I don't know why it keeps happening, but a bit of an annoying finish," said Fleetwood after closing a two-under 69 with a final-hole bogey. "Knocking that three of four footer in on the last and I would feel completely different. I got a lot of work to do over the weekend."
The second round will resume at 7.45am local time (11.45pm BST), with a two-tee start then set to be used for the third round.