World No. 20 Sergio Garcia of Spain charged up the leaderboard to hold the second-round lead at nine-under through 12 holes at the weather-interrupted US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open yesterday.
Almost three hours of play was lost to bad weather and play was suspended as darkness began falling, leaving 117 players to return at 7.30am today to resume their round.
Opening round leader David Lipsky of the US, who has yet to start his second round, shared the lead with Garcia after signing for a 63 in the morning.
Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand is six-under through 13 holes.
He is among the five players who are three shots behind Garcia and Lipsky at the event, which ends the Asian Tour season.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing returned with a four-under-par 68 and was one of only three players who managed to complete their round.
Garcia, who starred in Europe’s Ryder Cup win in September, could only play three holes on the opening day. However, he returned with a vengeance by snaring 10 birdies against one bogey over 33 holes.
“It was good. It has been a long day but it has been quite positive,” the event’s highest ranked player said in comments released by the organizers.
“I just hope I can keep going in the right direction and see what happens. Hopefully we will get lucky and can get all four rounds in,” he added.
Lipsky, who returned to complete two holes, did not manage to start his round, but will head into the weekend atop the leaderboard with Garcia.
Thongchai hopes to shake off fatigue when he resumes his title charge today.
“I’m happy with the way I played but I felt tired because of the suspensions. It was quite difficult to play on the course because the fairways are a bit wet. The greens are okay,” he said.
“I played very solid. I think I played about 30 holes. I woke up at 5.15am and it will be the same tomorrow,” he added.