Andrew Dodt leads Australian PGA

Andrew Dodt fired a sparkling opening round of 65 to establish a two-shot lead before the threat of lightning saw play suspended on day one of the Australian PGA Championship.

Ian Poulter is among the players still to finish the first round in Queensland
Ian Poulter is among the players still to finish the first round in Queensland

In the calmer morning conditions, Dodt recorded eight birdies and a solitary bogey to sit one stroke ahead of New Zealander Ryan Fox and Americans Julian Suri and Harold Varner III, with the latter still left with four holes to complete when the horn sounded at 3.15pm.

Beautiful conditions had greeted the players as the 2017 Race to Dubai got underway on Thursday morning, with 2016 Challenge Tour Rankings winner Jordan Smith hitting the opening tee-shot.

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But the expected high winds arrived in the afternoon and brought with them some biblical storms, with half the field yet to complete their first rounds.

That was no problem for Dodt, however, who was in the clubhouse on seven under par having come home in an excellent 31 after starting on the back nine.

The two-time European Tour winner made just seven of 20 cuts last season, but has been working on his game in recent months and is glad to see that work starting to bear fruit.

Fox’s flawless round of 67 was a continuation of the fine form he showed on the Challenge Tour last season, as the Kiwi – whose father Grant won the Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks – finished fourth in the Road to Oman Rankings.

US PGA Tour Member Varner III is also yet to drop a shot after 14 holes, whilst his compatriot Suri fought back bravely – he was one over par after four holes – to get his European Tour career off to a flying start.

Home favourite Adam Scott showed his intent with a four under par opening round of 68, which featured a long eagle putt on the 12th hole, while Ian Poulter is on level par after 15 holes.