Irish Open play resumes after lightning break

Darren Clarke Darren Clarke tees off, watched by Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson

Play has resumed at the Irish Open golf championship in Portrush, after a brief suspension because of bad weather.

The tournament is being held in Northern Ireland for the first time in more than 50 years.

The threat of lightning forced the players off the course for 95 minutes.

Local heroes Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke were among those watched by a sell-out crowd at Royal Portrush.

India's Jeev Milkha Singh holds a one-shot lead after the first round, thanks to a seven-under-par 65.

Singh signed for the day's best score just before the storm delay.

English duo Andrew Marshall and Mark Foster and Australia's Matthew Zions are on six under with Padraig Harrington in a group two off the lead.

Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell on their first rounds at the Irish Open

Defending champion Simon Dyson also had a 67 while Rory McIlroy dropped a couple of late shots in his 70.

The last time the north coast course staged a major competition was the Open in 1951, while the last time the Irish Open was played there was in 1947.

The Irish Open last came north of the border in 1953, when it was played at south Belfast's Belvoir Park Golf Club.

Parts of Northern Ireland were affected by heavy flooding on Wednesday.

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