Singapore: Thomas Bjorn made hay while the sun shone to forge a one-shot lead at the Singapore Open on Thursday before the threat of lightning and thunderstorms forced an abandonment with half of the field yet to complete their first rounds.
The Dane carded six birdies and a lone bogey to move to the top of the leaderboard with a patiently crafted five-under-par 66.
The vice-captain of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup campaign in September sits a stroke clear of Briton Simon Khan, Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil and Spain’s Pablo Martin, who all recorded matching 67s in the early session of play.
Former world No. 3 Paul Casey continued his late-season return to form with a three-under 68 to join South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun and Thailand’s Kwanchai Tannin in a tie for fifth place.
Jyoti Randhawa and Himmat Rai were the best-placed Indians on the opening day. The duo shot two-under 69 each and were three behind the Bjorn.
Both Randhawa and Rai expressed satisfaction with their cards on an energy-sapping day and were tied for ninth.
Anirban Lahiri was two-under through 11 holes which included an eagle.
Randhawa, who had a birdie-birdie start, is one of the four former champions playing this field.
He dropped two bogeys on fifth and ninth, where he missed the fairways, but made up with birdies on 16th and 17th before agonizingly missing another one on the 18th.
Himmat also had four birdies, two on either side of the turn.
Only five of the 11 Indians in the fray had finished their first round
Jeev Milkha Singh, however, was forced to pull out after aggravating his finger injury.