Bjorn makes most of sunny start to lead in Singapore

Thu Nov 8, 2012 5:34am EST
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By John O'Brien

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - 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 at the co-sanctioned $6 million event on a muggy but clear morning at the Sentosa Golf Club.

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 number three 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.

Kwanchai's compatriot Chapchai Nirat is also on three-under for the tournament but has only completed five holes of his round, three fewer than world number one Rory McIlroy, who was even par for his round when play was suspended.

The tournament has a history of weather delays and Monday finishes but the prospect of a full day's play appeared possible when Bjorn completed his round in glorious sunshine and set an early marker for the rest of the field to take aim at.

"I came here and saw the golf course, and its set-up to be tricky this year and I knew that everything was about driving the golf ball well," the 41-year-old Dane told reporters.

"It's not the longest golf course in the world so if you can keep it in the fairway, you can produce a score, and I did that very well today. That's only round one, so we'll work from here."   Continued...