JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia -- Thunderstorms halted the first round of Iskandar Johor Open on Thursday to frustrate the likes of Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia as some of the 84 players who will have to return early on Friday.
Play was halted at just after 1:30 p.m. on the opening day with Els and Garcia having completed just three holes in level par before they had to leave the course.
Asian Tour rookie David Lipsky was motoring around in 8 under par after 16 holes when the American's round came to an abrupt end, and he will hope that form continues on Friday.
Australia's Unho Park posted a flawless 65 to take second place while Korean-American Kevin Na signed for a 66 to take third place at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.
"I had a two-footer for birdie and I was looking to make that and finish the round strong. I just made like three pars in a row before the delay, so it didn't stop any momentum," said Lipsky. "I would have preferred to sleep in but you can't do anything about these weather conditions."
Having finished tied for 36th in Thailand last week, Asian Tour graduate Na is now hoping to shake off the effects of his long-distance travel from the United States and end his year on a winning note.
"I was very pleased with how I played," said Na. "I played very solid with seven birdies and only one bogey. I putted great and hit the ball good.
"I got a good practice in Thailand. It was a long commute for me and got a little sick," he added. "I've got over that and I'm feeling better and better. Hopefully I can get it low and see where I am."
South Africa's Peter Karmis kept his hopes of securing his Asian Tour card for next season alive when he returned with a 67 to take a share of fourth place with India's S.S.P. Chowrasia, Philippines' Angelo Que and Australia's Darren Beck who is at five-under through 17 holes at the Asian Tour season-ending event.
Asian Tour Order of Merit contenders Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Australia's Marcus Fraser are at 1 under after 17 holes.