sport

Fine start for Donald before rain

Luke Donald claimed a two-shot lead before bad weather brought an early end to the opening day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

Former world number one Donald, who claimed his first win of the year by defending his Dunlop Phoenix title in Japan 11 days ago, was five under par after 11 holes when play was abandoned for the day due to the threat of lightning.

Almost three hours had already been lost to bad weather, the first thunderstorm hitting the course shortly after noon local time, by which time world number 15 Donald had already moved top of the leaderboard.

The 35-year-old got off to a brilliant start with a birdie from five feet on the first and an eagle from 15ft on the par-five second, and remained three under after six holes when the players were forced from the course.

When play resumed Donald picked up further shots at the eighth and ninth to be out in 31, two shots ahead of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Wales' Jamie Donaldson and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge, who saw his approach to the ninth spin back into the hole for an eagle three.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer was a shot further back on two under with European number one Henrik Stenson one under through seven, but US Open champion Justin Rose was in joint 28th in the 30-man field after four bogeys in his first eight holes.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30am local time on Friday.