Scott Hend leads European Masters after weather-hit day

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Scott Hend opened up a two-shot lead before play was suspended due to darkness on a weather-affected third day of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The Australian came into the week looking for redemption after losing to Alex Noren in a play-off in Crans Montana last season, and he held a four-shot lead shortly after a two-hour-and-26-minute delay due to fog in the Swiss Alps.

Fabrizio Zanotti had reined him in by the turn but with the Paraguayan making two double-bogeys in three holes, Hend's 11-under-par total was enough to give him a cushion with five holes of round three to complete on Sunday.

Zanotti was at nine under and standing on the 14th fairway when the hooter sounded, with England's Matthew Fitzpatrick and South African Darren Fichardt at the same mark on the scoreboard with three and five holes to complete respectively.

"It was all calm when we started but after we went back, it was just so cold out there," Hend told www.europeantour.com. "The greens got a little bit rough so I was just trying to be patient. Everyone was dropping shots. "Some nice holes to finish with when we come back tomorrow so we will see how we will be positioned for the final round."

Fitzpatrick started with bogeys on the first and third but gains on the sixth, seventh and ninth put the Ryder Cup star right back in the mix at an event where he has two previous top-10 finishes.

"It was a slow start and I'm disappointed not to be a couple better really," he said. "I didn't hit a good drive on 14, missed a seven-footer for birdie on 10 and I left one three inches short on 13 too so obviously if you make those shots I'm leading by one.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow now and hopefully I can pick up one shot coming in and then go again in the afternoon and fire a low one to do the business."

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, South African Dean Burmester and Australian Marcus Fraser were the clubhouse leaders at eight under.