ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Johan Edfors and Mikael Lundberg shared the lead at 6-under 66 Thursday after play was suspended during the first round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
An early morning hailstorm covered the fairways of the Abu Dhabi Golf Club with ice and forced play to be halted for two hours. The afternoon groups were still on the course when the round was suspended because of darkness.
Jarmo Sandelin, Francesco Molinari and Oliver Fisher had 67s, a shot behind the leaders.
Defending champion Martin Kaymer was two shots back at 68, and British Open and PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington started his new season with a 1-under 71.
"It was pretty friendly conditions out there - not very much wind and the greens are holding well after the morning rain and hailstorm," Edfors said. "You need to take advantage of that because this course can turn really nasty with a bit of wind in the next three days."
Sergio Garcia, the current leader of the European Tour's Race to Dubai, and 2007 Abu Dhabi champion Paul Casey were among those still on the course when play was called. Garcia was 3 under after 13 holes, while Casey, playing in the same group, was 2 under.
Edfors, who won three times on the European Tour in 2006, has struggled to match that form since, though the 33-year-old Dubai resident managed a second-place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa at the end of 2008.
"I feel my game is in a much better shape than it was in 2006," Edfors said. "I played nicely today and gave myself a lot of good birdie opportunities and made a few good putts."
Lundberg, who won the Russian Open last year, was delighted with his score after returning from a long break.
"It's been a long break as my last event was the HSBC Champions in November," the 35-year-old Lundberg said. "I needed to sort out a few things and because I now have an exempt status, I thought I'd focus on those first.
"Just a few days of practice in Dubai and I am here. So, really happy with the score."