Justin Rose was hot on the heels of the leaders at the Indonesian Masters on Thursday despite having his opening round curtailed by a severe thunderstorm that forced play to be abandoned.
Former US Open champion Rose, who needs a top-15 finish in Jakarta to reclaim the number one spot in the world golf rankings, fired four birdies and an eagle before his round was cut short after 14 holes.
At five-under-par he was just one shot behind US golfer John Catlin and South Korea’s Sungho Lee, who both set the early pace at the Asian Tour’s season-ending event with opening rounds of 66.
Lightning halted play just before 4.00pm local time (0900 GMT), meaning 62 players including England’s Rose – the defending champion – will have to finish their first rounds on Friday.
Co-leader Catlin notched up seven birdies and one bogey in his completed round.
“The only bogey I made was on the fourth hole where the putt lipped out from about three feet,” Catlin said.
“But I’m obviously happy with a 66 on a difficult golf course.”
Sungho Lee, whose best result this season was a tied-14th finish in Taipei, bagged eight birdies for his share of the lead.
“I putted well and hit all my tee shots very well,” Lee said. “It was very hot and I’m going to take it step-by-step as the round progresses.”
Rose, the current world number two, has pledged to donate $50,000 to help with reconstruction efforts on the earthquake-hit islands of Lombok and Sulawesi. He will resume play from the 15th hole on Friday.
Cork’s Niall Turner is tied for 46th, but has beneficially completed his first round before the weather delay. Four birdies and one dropped shot saw him card an outward 33, but a double bogey on the 15th from the Irishman led to a -1 round of 71 – five shots off the lead.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)