Gold Coast - Australia's Andrew Dodt carded eight birdies to
be the clubhouse leader at a storm-hit Australian PGA Championship, with former
winner Adam Scott three off the lead at Royal Pines on Thursday.
Two-time European Tour winner Dodt came home in 31 to be
seven-under for the tournament after a 65 and hold a two-shot lead over New
Zealander Ryan Fox and American Julian Suri.
American Harold Varner III made a late charge to five-under
after four consecutive birdies and then another on the 13th before having to
scurry for cover as a thunderstorm deluged the course and forced play to be
abandoned for the day.
Almost half the field are still to complete their first
round at will return at 5:00 am Friday, with the second round teeing off at
World number seven Adam Scott, who has finished first and
second in his last two appearances at Royal Pines, was in a group of players
three shots off the lead.
Dodt started on the 10th and turned in 34 with three birdies
and a bogey but came to life on the front nine.
He birdied the first, third and fifth to join a four-way tie
for the lead and then broke away with closing gains on the eighth and ninth.
Starting on the back nine, Scott reached the par-five 12th
in two and then rolled in a 40-foot putt to reach two under.
He had a bogey on the 18th but rallied to card three
consecutive birdies at the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Australian Jarrod Lyle had a hole-in-one on the fifth hole
with a seven iron from 179 yards with the ball bouncing just short of the
green, taking two more hops before rolling into the hole.
The $1.1 million event, which is being co-sanctioned by the
European Tour for the second season, marks the start of the 2017 Race to Dubai.
Leading completed scores in the first round of the Australian PGA
Championship, which was halted early by a thunderstorm on Thursday
(Royal Pines Resort course, par 72):
65 - Andrew Dodt (AUS)
67 - Julian Suri (USA), Ryan Fox (NZL)
68 - Natipong Srithong (THA), Nick Cullen (AUS), Geoff Drakeford (AUS), Todd Sinnott (AUS), Paul Waring (ENG), Adam Scott (AUS)
69 - Michael Sim (AUS), Niclas Johansson (SWE), Peter O'Malley (AUS), Rohan Blizard (AUS), Daniel Nisbet (AUS), Danny Lee (NZL)
70 - Daniel Popovic (AUS), Marc Leishman (AUS) Robert Allenby (AUS), Greg Chalmers (AUS), John Senden (AUS)
71 - Park Hyo-Won (KOR), Cameron Smith (AUS), Rhein Gibson (AUS)
- Stephen Gallacher (SCO), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA), Jake McLeod
(AUS), Bradley Neil (SCO), Harry Bateman (NZL), Adam Blyth (AUS)