Tom McKibbin and Chinese amateur Ding Wenyi were tied at the top of the leaderboard when the weather-affected second round of the 2023 Singapore Classic was suspended due to fading light on Friday evening.
First-round leader McKibbin, who hails from the same Holywood Golf Club in Northern Ireland as Rory McIlroy, had mixed five birdies with two bogeys on day two before play had to be halted for an hour due to flooded greens as he played the 18th.
When the action resumed at 6.20pm local time, the Northern Irishman closed his round with a par to sign for a 69 and head into the weekend on 11-under.
He was soon joined at the summit by 18-year-old Ding, who carded two eagles, two birdies and a bogey in his first 14 holes before the daylight ran out.
Ding will return to complete his second round at 8.15am local time on Saturday morning.
German Marcel Schneider and England’s Andy Sullivan were the co-leaders’ nearest challengers on 10-under.
McKibbin, who had posted a flawless 64 in round one, opened his birdie account on the par-five third on Friday and then produced a shot-of-the-day contender from the rough at the fifth to set up a close-range birdie.
He made it two birdies in a row on the sixth before rolling in his putt from around 12 feet at the eighth to move to 12 under and open up a two-shot lead.
After going agonisingly close to notching a birdie at the tenth, as his lengthy putt hit the hole but did not fall below ground, McKibbin dropped his first shot of the week at the short 11th.
A good par save followed on the 12th but he could not keep another bogey off the card at the 13th and surrendered the outright lead.
But he bounced back with a birdie from 10 feet at the 14th to regain the solo lead before creating outside birdie chances at the next two holes, having to settle for par on both occasions.
With heavy rain arriving at Laguna National Golf Resort Club, McKibbin did well to save par at the short 17th and after an hour-long suspension, the European Challenge Tour graduate returned to safely par the last.
He said: “I played very nicely most of the day, especially the front nine. A little bit colder on the back, overall a pretty good day.
“I just hoped we would finish it off. I didn’t fancy coming back early in the morning to hit three shots, very happy we managed it.
“I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully go out and play some of my own golf, concentrate well and see how it goes.”
Ding recovered from a dropped shot at the second with an eagle on the par-four fifth before birdieing the sixth to turn in 33.
Another eagle at the 10th — also a par four — catapulted the talented amateur into contention, and after returning from the hour-long suspension he made a birdie at the 13th to join McKibbin at the summit.