Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)
Defending champion Sergio Garcia held a share of the lead as he reached the turn on day one of the weather-delayed Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
All tee times were pushed back by two hours on Thursday morning as inclement weather and lightning hit Real Club Valderrama.
But after play eventually began at 10.45am local time, local favourite Garcia fired three early birdies on his front nine to sit alongside Englishman Ashley Chesters at the top of the leaderboard on three under par.
Frenchman Grégory Bourdy, Dane Lasse Jensen and England's Oliver Fisher were a single shot behind the co-leaders on two under in the early stages of their rounds.
Scot Richie Ramsay, who is in need of a good week in Spain as he looks to finish in the top 116 on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, was among the large group another stroke back after a disappointing double bogey at the 17th saw him fall off the summit.
Garcia is aiming to make it a hat-trick of Andalucía Masters victories this week and he started strongly, notching birdies at the 11th and 13th - his second and fourth holes - to get to two under.
The Spaniard's second shot at the long 17th landed up against a wall near the 18th tee but he made the most of his break, spinning his low chip shot to within ten feet of the hole to set up a birdie chance.
Garcia was unable to roll in his birdie putt but made up for it at the 18th, holing his long birdie attempt to reach the turn in 33.
Chesters, meanwhile, made gains at the second, fifth and eighth to join Garcia at the top of the pile.