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UK Championship: Justin Walters leads after weather-affected day

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Justin Walters reflects on posting a bogey-free 64 and opening up a three-shot lead at The Belfry

Justin Walters holds a three-shot lead after a weather-disrupted opening day at the ISPS Handa UK Championship, with Bernd Wiesberger in the chasing pack.

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ISPS Handa UK Championship

The South African carded a bogey-free 64 to top the leaderboard at The Belfry, where play was halted for over four hours after heavy rain resulted in part of the course becoming flooded.

Wiesberger is in a share of second alongside Benjamin Hebert, Joel Sjoholm and Scott Vincent on five under, with Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher among the group of players sitting four off the pace.

Image: Wiesberger is making his first appearance in a regular European Tour event since February

"Any situation when you shoot 64 you're smiling," Walters told Sky Sports. "I wasn't smiling with a couple of holes to go though when I started to get really wet, but I wouldn't want to be out there playing another 18 in this weather."

Walters - who has missed the cut by a shot in three of his last four starts - followed three birdies in his opening six holes by picking up a shot at the ninth, as Wiesberger also reached the turn in 32 and matched Walters' birdie at the 11th.

Image: Walters starts the week 156th on the Race to Dubai

Both players picked up shots at the 13th to edge ahead of the field before Walter moved two clear by making a pitch-in eagle over a bunker at the par-five 15th, with the lead increasing to three when Wiesberger bogeyed the last.

Sjojolm also made a fast start to his opening-round 67 by birdieing four of his first six holes, with Vincent mixing seven birdies with two bogeys to also get within three of the early lead.

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Calum Hill was in the group on five under with two holes to go when play was halted at 2.10pm, with the Scot dropping a shot on his penultimate hole after the first round could resume at 6.15pm.

Image: Hill carded a four-under 68 in heavy rain on Thursday

Fisher was two off the lead until he followed four straight birdies from the 14th by double-bogeying his final hole, with Rhys Enoch, Marcus Kinhult and Wade Ormsby also in the group on four under.

Play was suspended for the day shortly after 8pm due to darkness, with the round resuming on Friday at 7am.

Watch the ISPS Handa UK Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from midday on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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