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Bjorn leads in weather-hit Singapore

Last updated: 8th November 2012

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Bjorn: Seized the early initiative

Bjorn: Seized the early initiative

Thomas Bjorn fired a five-under-par 66 to take the clubhouse lead at the Barclays Singapore Open before the heavens opened.

Heavy thunderstorms forced the opening round to be suspended with about half the field yet to complete their first rounds.

The Dane leads by one over England's Simon Khan, Spaniard Pablo Martin and Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil, all of whom managed to post 67s before play was called off.

Paul Casey lies in joint fifth place after a three-under 68 alongside Korean Y.E. Yang and Kwanchai Tannin of Thailand. Fellow Thai Chapchai Nirat had also raced to three under par after completing just five holes.

While Bjorn has won 13 times in Europe, the 41-year-old Dane is still searching for his first win in Asia. His opening round performance at the Sentosa Golf Club has now kept up his hopes of meeting that target.

"I came here and saw the golf course, and knew that everything was about driving the golf ball well. 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," said Bjorn, who marked his card with six birdies against one bogey.

"I always enjoy coming to Singapore and Malaysia. You have got to pace yourself a little bit and not use too much energy through the week. It is about playing golf this week, and quite nice for the body to be feeling warm and nice out there. No cold for the old joints to get you into trouble!" he added.

Chinnarat, who became the youngest winner on the Asian Tour when he won his first title on home soil at the age of 17 years and five days, believes he can do well this week, despite the kind of competition that includes World No 1 Rory McIlroy.

"I feel very good. I feel very confident today on my front-nine. I hit a lot of good tee shots on the front nine. I putted well too," said the 24-year-old.

"On this course, you've to hit the ball onto the fairways and that's what I managed to do throughout my round today."

Four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson of the United States had a round to forget after he signed for a 73 while three-time Barclays Singapore Open winner, Adam Scott of Australia returned with a 71.

"It was not the start I was hoping for. I had been playing really well heading into this tournament. I hit some poor shots but fought very hard to stay a couple over," said Mickelson.

McIlroy was even par through eight holes before play was suspended.



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