Defending champion, Angel Cabrera, fulfilled the expectations of his hometown supporters by carding a bogey free four under par 67 for a three-way share of the lead in the 77th Abierto Visa del Centro at Cordoba Golf Club.
The first official event of the 2008 Tour de las Americas, co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour, saw the US Open Champion make a flying start on a day of several rain delays, which meant the first round could not be completed before darkness fell.
Holding the clubhouse lead along with Cabrera are Sweden’s Christopher Hanell and England’s David Horsey. The European duo of Taco Remkes of The Netherlands and Gary Boyd of England join them at four under par and still holding a chance to move ahead of the leading trio when play resumes later today.
Although a large part of the field did not finish due to the problems, 39 year old Cabrera encountered no difficulties either on or off the course. Having won the 74th, 75th and 76th editions of the event, the local hero not unreasonably started a warm favourite - and showed exactly why.
He began his bid for a four-timer by birdieing the fourth, sixth, 12th and 13th holes and negotiated his home course without dropping a shot.
Hanell, a previous winner in Madeira on The European Tour, picked up five birdies but dropped a shot at the 11th as he joined Cabrera on 67. Horsey, a former English Amateur finalist, made the most impressive start to the first round with three straight birdies and he picked up three more over the next 15 holes. However two bogeys prevented him from overtaking Cabrera and Hanell at the top.