First round suspended with 3 tied for lead in Turkey

Paul Casey was one of three players tied for the lead at the Turkish Airlines Open when play was suspended on Thursday.
Paul Casey was one of three players tied for the lead at the Turkish Airlines Open when play was suspended on Thursday. ( Getty Images )

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ANTALYA, Turkey – Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen took advantage of the wet conditions from an overnight storm to shoot 6-under 66s Thursday and share the first-round clubhouse lead in the Turkish Airlines Open.

South Africa's Darren Fichardt and England's Paul Casey and Steve Webster were one shot in front at 7 under but still on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course when darkness suspended play in the third event of the four-tournament Final Series on the European Tour. They and 60 other players from the 78-man field will finish the first round at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. EST) Friday. Thursday's play had been delayed three hours.

“Tommy (Fleetwood) started with four birdies, so I didn’t feel like I was out thereby myself,” Casey said of the conditions. “I clearly felt, if these guys are making a lot of birdies, then the entire field is going to be making a lot of birdies.”

Casey was right, as 61 players were under par when the horn sounded postponing play.

“Scoring is really low,” said Charl Schwartzel, who was 4 under through 12 holes. “If you’re not making birdies, then you’re going backwards out there. Golf courses like this, playing soft, the five par 5s, I think this week you’re going to have been quite a bit into the 20-unders.”

For Tiger Woods, the story was much different. The No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking still showed a considerable amount of rust on his game, making two birdies and one bogey to stand 1 under through 10 holes, tied for 50th. Woods was short of the green in two shots on the par-5 11th hole when he called it a day.

Olesen, an early co-leader, called the course "very soft and very attackable."

“It's nice to shoot 6 under," he said of his eight-birdie, two-bogey start. "It's been a while since I’ve been down there, and hopefully I can keep it going.”

The forecast for Friday is sunny and breezy, with the temperature expected to top 80 degrees and drying out a golf course that received 2-plus inches of rain overnight. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.