SANTO DA SERRA, Portugal, March 21 (UPI) -- Bradley Dredge of Wales, the only golfer in the field ranked in the world's top 100, used a 3-under-par Friday 69 to charge into contention at the Madeira Island Open.
Ranked 72nd in the world, Dredge's two-round total of 3-under 141 was two shots off the lead of Spain's Jesus Maria Arruti and Andrew Sherborne, who were stranded on the course when play was halted by darkness.
The 29-year-old Dredge was one of 72 players unable to complete their first rounds after rain doused the Santo da Serra course Thursday.
Playing alongside Seve Ballesteros of Spain, Dredge was 3-under after eight holes when play resumed Friday morning. But Dredge got off to the worst possible start with a double bogey six on his first hole of the day.
That dropped him five shots off the opening-round lead, held by Arruti, who had completed his 66 on Thursday.
Dredge gave back another shot on the 10th as well, but despite a testing wind blowing around the course perched 2,300 feet above sea level, Dredge produced a superb finish to get back into the hunt.
Birdies at the 14th, 16th and 18th took him home in 34 and, after a short break, he was back on the course to start the second round as tournament officials attempted to make up the time lost Thursday.
Ballesteros meanwhile still had a chance of making only his fourth cut in two years despite an opening-round 76.
Ballesteros has won more than 80 titles worldwide, including five major championships, but has not tasted victory since 1995 or had a top-10 finish since 1998.
The 45-year-old's slump reached such a low point last season that he chose not to play in the British Open for the first time in 27 years. He did not compete in any events in Britain at all.
Of the nine events he did enter in 2002, he missed the cut in six, withdrew after one round in Switzerland, was disqualified from the Irish Open after signing for a 10 instead of a 12 on the 18th hole, and made just one cut.
That one cut made came here, where he also qualified for the final two rounds in 2001.
After shooting a 2-over after eight holes Thursday, Ballesteros dropped two more shots Friday, but the testing conditions and weakened field meant the cut was certain to be over par. Only 23 of the 72 players who completed their rounds Thursday managed to shoot level par or better.
The worst score of the day belonged to England's Mark Roe, who signed for a 19-over-par 91.
Roe went to the turn in 40 and came back in 51, citing a calf injury as a contributing factor to a finish that saw him record three double bogeys and an eight-over-par 12 on the final hole.
Arruti had played 12 holes of his round while Sherborne had completed six. They were among 69 players forced to complete their second rounds on Saturday.
England's Andrew Marshall and Swede Henrik Stenson joined Dredge at 3-under through 36 holes.