Aussie on Top in Madeira Island Open

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SANTO DA SERRA, Madeira -- Australian Brad Kennedy stands at 7-under par through 11 holes as Thursday's opening round of the Madeira Island Open was suspended due to darkness.
 
Sweden's Magnus Persson Atlevi carded a 5-under-par 67 to take the clubhouse lead. Mattias Eliasson climbed to 5 under through nine holes before action was halted.
 
Weather problems plagued the opening round of play. Action was stopped for over two hours due to heavy rain and fog. Sixty players will complete their first round beginning at 3:00 AM (ET) Friday, with second-round play starting about an hour later.
 
Kennedy got his round going on the back nine at Santo da Serra Golf Club. He dropped in an eagle at the par-5 11th and the 29-year-old came right back with consecutive birdies from the 12th to quickly jump to 4 under.
 
He later birdied the 17th to get to minus-5. On the front side, Kennedy birdied each of the first two holes to move two strokes clear of Persson Atlevi.
 
'I was 5 under through the ninth and then birdied the first and second,' said Kennedy. 'I didn't want to stop. I played great. I didn't miss one shot the whole day, gave myself a lot of chances and holed a few putts. Eagled the 11th which was nice after hitting the approach to 12 feet.'
 
Persson Atlevi birdied the first and third to move to 2 under through three holes. After seven straight pars, the Swede eagled the 11th and came right back to birdie the 12th to take the clubhouse lead at minus-5.
 
'It was a fantastic day. I played beautifully for 18 holes,' said Persson Atlevi, who is playing his first event since the Telia Grand Prix on the European Challenge Tour in September. 'After the winter break and putting some distance between myself and the game, I find I get the interest back.
 
'I have been doing this all my life but feel I am learning and getting to know how you should do it. I feel I am improving and if you start playing well there is a terrific amount of money now to play for.'
 
Englishman David Dixon and Scotland's Euan Little are in the clubhouse at 4-under-par 68. Bradley Dredge, the defending champion, also stands at minus-4 through 14 holes. Matthew Cort, Jamie Spence and Simon Wakefield are all 4 under through 12 holes.
 
'I hit a few better shots today anyway,' Dixon said. 'I was more consistent. I was getting a bit narrow on the downswing so I was just trying to get a bit more width. Something really simple but you don't realize it when you play. It was a good lesson and gave me a little confidence I needed.'
 
Jeppe Huldahl, Knud Storgaard and Sam Walker are in the clubhouse at 3-under-par 69.
 
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Madiera Island Open

  • Leaderboard - Madiera Island Open