Ireland’s travelling trio saw their journey cut short as Paul Dunne, Niall Kearney and Gavin Moynihan bowed out at the halfway mark of the Open de Portugal.
With two-over par the target, both Dunne and Kearney could count themselves unlucky to fall just one shot shy of the required mark.
Dunne bounced back from an opening 76 with a one-under par 71 but plus-three was no good in the end, with Kearney on the same score after rounds of 75 and 72.
Moynihan never looked likely after only adding a 79 to his opening 74 for a nine-over tally.
Meanwhile, Nathan Kimsey and Andrew Wilson joined home favourite Vitor Lopes at the top of the Royal Óbidos leaderboard, with the third round of the weather-affected tournament set to resume on Sunday morning.
Lopes reached the summit after round one with his lowest ever European Tour round of 65, and he followed that up with a round of 71, birdieing the last to sit at eight under par when he completed his second round on Saturday afternoon following lengthy delays due to thunderstorms and high winds on Friday.
That was enough for the 24 year old to match the eight under par clubhouse target set by Englishman Wilson, who followed up a first round 69 with a five under 67 on day two around the Seve Ballesteros-designed course at Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort
“I had to catch up from the lost shots on the previous day with the hurricane we got here,” said Lopes. “Kept my emotions quite well. Had a bad bounce for two bogies on the back nine but I feel good with the birdie on the last hole and that puts me in the lead.
“It was tough sitting down, you don’t know what to expect, but we are doing our job, we are here to play, and that’s what I did.
“It’s so tough when the wind is inconsistent. Sometimes you have big breezes and you don’t know if you can count on the wind or not. I think I did a good job today.
“It feels awesome (to play at home). It’s good to have Portuguese guys supporting me. Hopefully I can make them happy on Sunday.”
Wilson’s compatriot Kimsey finished with back-to-back birdies to equal his 67 and make it a three-way tie at the summit, while Welshman Jamie Donaldson eagled the last to sit one off the lead at seven under par.
Portugal’s Pep Angles recorded the lowest second round score – a six under par 66 – to finish at six under par, alongside Garrick Higgo of South Africa, Spain’s Carlos Pigem and Finn Roope Kakko.
Sweden’s Christofer Blomstrand then joined them with a bogey and four birdies in his opening six holes when the third round got under way. With bogeys for Pigem on the second and third, and American Chase Hanna and England’s Ashton Turner both going one under through their first three holes, it was a six-way tie for fifth place when play was suspended due to fading light.
The third round will resume at 8.15 am on Sunday morning.
Full scoring HERE
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