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Co-leaders at suspended Australian Masters

  |   Nov. 27, 2008 at 4:08 PM
MELBOURNE, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- South Africa's Tim Clark and Scott Hend of Australia shared the lead at 5-under 67 when the first round of the Australian Masters in Melbourne was suspended.

An afternoon lightning storm delayed play at the European golf tournament for nearly three hours and tournament officials called the round when darkness fell with 48 players left to complete their first 18 holes Friday morning.

Weather conditions included hailstones, lightning and a succession of heavy showers.

Clark had played 13 holes when worsening conditions forced him to retire to the safety of the clubhouse, but later, he was able to return, and back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th holes helped him join Hend in a share of the lead.

"Obviously the wind was a lot calmer and from a different direction and the greens had softened up, so it was a totally different course," Clark said.

Anthony Brown, Daniel Wardrop and Michael Wright all shot 3-under 69 and share third place.

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