Golf: Fraser sees his way clear to lead in fog

AUSTRALIA'S Marcus Fraser held onto a one-shot first-round lead midway through the second day of the weather-affected Ballantine's Championship, which has already been reduced to 54 holes.

Former Russian Open champion Fraser topped the leaderboard in South Korea after yesterday's fog-affected first day at Pinx Golf Club after carding a bogey-free seven-under-par 65.

Worksop's Mark Foster led the chase of his playing partner, lying one shot further adrift after blazing six birdies and an eagle. The Englishman was joined by Tano Goya after the Argentine completed his own six-under-par 66 in bright sunshine with a hat-trick of birdies.

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"I am happy with my game although I have played only five tournaments this year, this is my sixth tournament. But I'm playing very well," said 21-year-old Goya, who won last year's Madeira Islands Open.

Brett Rumford had briefly joined his compatriot Fraser atop the leaderboard after carding two eagles in a flawless 11 holes, but a three-putt bogey at the last represented a second dropped shot in four holes and he dropped back into a tie for fourth alongside in-form Welsh rookie Rhys Davies, England's Robert Rock and South Korea's Ted Oh.

Trophee Hassan II winner Davies, who finished joint runner-up last week in China, completed a five-under-par first round with a par at the last, while Rock picked up a birdie at the past after playing three holes as the pair joined Ted Oh two shots off the pace.

"It was a little frustrating, we had an incident last night where we were on the 17th green and it looked like the hooter was about to go and I was about to run up to the last and hit off, because if we hit off we could finish, but the hooter went as he was running up to the tee and we had to come back at seven this morning," said 24-year-old Davies. "Yesterday was a long day. It did take a long time, but it was same for everybody and I suppose in a way we don't have to play 36 holes today so that might be a bonus."

After over six hours were lost yesterday due to fog, officials opted to reduce the tournament to 54 holes with the third and final round to be played on Sunday after a traditional 36-hole cut tomorrow.

Fraser, Foster, Davies and Rock – along with the remaining players from yesterday's morning groups – will not play their second rounds until tomorrow,

Peter Lawrie was the best of the Scots after a 69 while Stephen Gallacher carded 71 and David Drysdale and Alastair Forsyth reached the clubhouse in 72,