Angelo Que of the Philippines wielded a hot putter as he took the clubhouse lead midway through the opening round of the weather-interrupted Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
Que needed just 20 putts to card an eight under par 64 at the New Kuta Golf Club, which put him four shots in front of Filipino compatriot Antonio Lascuna, England’s Simon Khan, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Andrew Dodt of Australia.
Rhys Davies of Wales, Alexander Noren of Sweden, Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul and the English pair of Steve Webster and Miles Tunnicliff were a further shot back after carding three-under 69s.
Heavy rain and the threat of lightning resulted in a two-hour stoppage shortly after the US$1.25 million tournament, which is co-sanctioned by The European and Asian Tours, teed off in Bali.
When play eventually resumed just after 9am, Que teed off on the back nine and made a good start with a birdie on his first hole, the 10th.
The 30 year old from Manila parred the next three holes before a 40-footer on the 14th sparked off a run of four consecutive birdies, which put him on top of the leaderboard on five under par at the turn.
Further birdies followed on the first and third holes before Que enjoyed a lucky break on the fifth, where he pulled his tee shot into long grass to the left of the fairway.
Although his ball was plugged in a mound, the Filipino was able to recover his ball with some help from a television crew and made par.
He made another birdie to finish with a 64, although it will not count as a course record due to the use of preferred lies.
“I’m very, very pleased with how I played today. I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Que, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour.
“The breaks were on my side today. I almost lost my ball on the fifth hole but the TV camera was on me the whole time, and they saw where it was and I was able to make it up and down for a par. I was really lucky, that’s all I can say.”
Que had to wait out a long delay before teeing off, but felt that the stoppage worked in his favour.
“It was great! I was able to take my time during the delay, had a cup of coffee and chatted with my friends. I think it helped me to relax, so the delay really helped me a lot.”
Khan made a quick start with birdies on three of his first four holes on the front nine to reach the turn in three under.
He dropped a shot with a bogey on the 12th hole, but birdies on the 14th and 16th put him in position to challenge for his first European Tour win since the 2004 Wales Open.
“I played really nicely, particularly at the start of my round,” said the 36-year-old.
“I could’ve been four under after four holes, if my putt on the third hadn’t lipped out. Then I had a bit of a wobble, but recovered very nicely towards the end. So overall, I’ve got to be pretty pleased.
“It’s definitely a course which suits my game, because it’s quite wide off the tee. A lot of the approach shots are played with short irons, which plays to my strengths.
“Myself and my caddie have also been able to read the greens well, which always helps.”
Rafael Cabrera Bello had the tournament’s first hole in one on the 140-yard par three 15th en route to a round of 71.
Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee also shot 71, while Nick Dougherty recovered from a poor start with three birdies on his back nine for a level par 72.