Clark shares lead Daly nine back


2009 European TourMELBOURNE, Australia ' South Africas Tim Clark waited out a three-hour suspension due to a severe thunderstorm to pull into a tie for the first-round lead with a 5-under 67 at the Australian Masters on Thursday.
Australian Scott Hend was in the clubhouse with a 67 when a hail-laced storm hit Huntingdale, forcing nearly 80 golfers off the course. When they returned, Clark, 3-under when play was suspended, birdied Nos. 15 and 16 on what he said was a totally different course.
I was starting to drop shots before they called us off and I was lucky to come back out and make a few birdies, Clark said. Its always tough to go out and finish off a round after such a delay, but it worked out for me.
Four players ' Daniel Wardrop of England and Australians Chris Downes, Michael Wright and Anthony Brown ' were tied for third at 3 under.
Downes, who had five holes to play when darkness suspended the round, was among 13 threesomes needing to complete their opening rounds early on Friday.
American John Daly played in the morning and shot a 76.
After picking up an early shot at the par-4 fourth, Clark holed eagle putts at the par-5 seventh and 10th holes, both of which were playing downwind. But Clark bogeyed the 11th and the short par-4 13th just before the siren sounded to end play.
Long-hitting Hend also took advantage of the gusty northerly wind on the 10th to hit a 415-yard drive, leaving him with a lob wedge to the green.
You could afford to be aggressive downwind, but into the wind you had to be cautious, Hend said. I needed two different games out there.
Daly, who shot a closing 62 at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday and finished tied for 17th, bogeyed three holes on the back nine ' his first ' while being followed by a large gallery Thursday.
Bogeys on his final two holes, the eighth and ninth ' both into the wind ' came after an eagle at the par-5 seventh lifted him to within striking distance of the leaders. Three-time Masters winner Craig Parry, who played in Dalys group, also carded a 76.
It was just so brutal; this golf course wasnt built for the wind and the greens are so undulating that it makes it even more difficult, Daly said. It was hard to have a lot of confidence out there. It was more a guessing game.
I was sitting there posing and hoping instead of knowing, and that makes it real tough. I didnt play that bad; it was just one of those days that youve got to be patient and hang in there.
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