European Tour

Weekley leads Australian PGA

Boo Weekley (Gallo)
Boo Weekley (Gallo)

Gold Coast - American Boo Weekley upstaged home favourite Adam Scott to take an early two-shot lead at the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday before the first round on the Gold Coast was suspended because of thunderstorms.

Weekley, a three-times winner on the US PGA Tour, fired five birdies and an eagle two for a six-under-par 66 at the Royal Pines course in Queensland to lead the $1 million OneAsia season ending event.

"I played well today, struck the ball solid, kept it in play, hit one bad drive and got away with it," the 41-year-old, who holed out from 146 yards for the eagle, told reporters. "It worked out pretty good."

World number three Scott, the defending champion, was one of five players to sign for a 68, with South Korean Jeong Jin and Australian Tom Bond also at four-under before the lightning warnings halted them at the 12th and ninth holes respectively.

Scott, who was raised on the Gold Coast, had three birdies and an eagle in his round to sit level in the clubhouse with compatriots Wade Ormsby, Craig Hancock and James Marchesani as well as New Zealander David Smail.

The hometown favourite said he was pleased with his efforts after failing to break par in his opening rounds at the Australian Masters and Australian Open over the last few weeks, where he fought back to finish in the top five of both.

"It was a pretty solid start. I can always find reason to be better but I think I'll take that, considering the starts I've got off to the last couple of weeks," the 2013 US Masters champion said.

"I didn't make a ton of putts today, so if you can have a hot day with the putter certainly getting in at eight-under in a day is not unrealistic around here."

More storms are predicted for Friday, when play will resume at 05:30 for those who hadn't finished their first rounds.

Despite the weather forecasts, tournament organisers were optimistic of completing the event by Sunday.

Leading scores after the opening round of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines (par-72) on the Gold Coast on Thursday (Australia unless stated):

66 - Boo Weekley (USA)

68 - David Smail (NZL), Adam Scott, Wade Ormsby, James Marchesani, Craig Hancock

69 - Jarrod Lyle, Brad Kennedy, Scott Strange, Nathan Green, Neven Basic, Ratchapol Jantavara (THA)

70 - Josh Geary (NZL), Ryan Fox (NZL), Michael Hendry (NZL), Peter Cooke, Xinyang Li (CHN), Kevin Conlong, Chirat Jirasuwan (THA)

71 - Greg Chalmers, Josh Younger, Brendon De Jonge (ZIM), Jake Higginbottom, Mark Brown (NZL), Alistair Presnell, Adam Stephens, Paul Donahoo

72 - Scott Stallings (USA), Scott Gardiner, Michael Sim, Mark Gilson, Leigh Deagan, Steven Jones, Brad Shilton (NZL), Matthew Ballard, Michael Choi, John Young Kim (USA)

Selected scores:

73 - Martin Kim (ARG), Ryan C Carter (USA), Zhou Guowu (CHN), Zhu Weiyu (CHN)

74 - Wisut Artjanawat (THA), Duan Chenxiao (CHN)

75 - Kim Tae-Woo (KOR), Park Deuk-Hee (KOR)

76 - Tommy Mou (TPE), Michael Im (KOR)

77 - Choi Joonwoo (KOR)

79 - Dou Zecheng (CHN)

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