Sergio Garcia two back from leader Ashley Chesters at Valderrama
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 19/10/18 7:36pm
Ashley Chesters grabbed the early lead at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters, as tournament host Sergio Garcia made a strong start to his title defence.
Andalucia Valderrama Masters
Englishman Chesters posted a five-under 66 to set the clubhouse target on a weather-affected day in Sotogrande, where more than four hours of play were lost due to thunderstorms.
Chesters holds a one-shot advantage over France's Gregory Bourdy, who made a blemish-free start to the week, with Garcia in the group two off the pace after an opening-round 68.
None of the afternoon players were able to complete their rounds before play was suspended at 7.45pm local time (6.45pm BST), with Alvaro Quiros the pick of the late starters and sitting on three under after eight holes.
After play was delayed by two hours due to lightning at Real Club Valderrama, Garcia - making his first appearance since the Ryder Cup - posted three birdies in a first-nine 33 and added another from close range at the par-four second.
Garcia bogeyed the third before thunder and lightning returned at the 2.50pm, with the Spaniard parring his final four holes after the restart to join Jason Scrivener sharing the clubhouse lead.
Bourdy, battling to save his European Tour card, edged ahead after posting a four-under 67, only for Chester to claim the outright advantage after finishing with back-to-back birdies.
Shane Lowry and Scotland's Richie Ramsay were in the group on two under, with Lee Westwood five off the pace and Joost Luiten marking his return from injury with a two-over 73.
Play will resume at 9am local time (8am BST) on Friday morning, with the second round not getting underway before 4pm (3pm BST).
Watch the Andalucia Valderrama Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Friday from 12.30pm.