Hughes to play catch-up for lead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hughes to play catch-up for lead

By Robert Grant 09/12/2004 07:12:43 PM Comments (0)

Former champion Brad Hughes will be playing catch-up to retain his lead after thunderstorms and rain caused the first round of the Australian Masters at Huntingdale to be abandoned.

Hughes was on the course, leading the field by one shot at seven under par, when thunder and heavy rain forced the postponement of play.

After a second heavy downpour officials decided to abandon the day and begin on Friday at 6.50am.

Hughes, winner of the Masters in 1993 and 1998, was playing the 12th when the siren to stop play was sounded.

One player who didn't stop was Victorian left-hander Andrew Webster, who hit a shot into bushes after the signal and was disqualified after calling the penalty on himself.

Hughes was one of only three players in the top 20 who had not completed his first round when the weather changed.

He led defending champion Robert Allenby, who fired a six under par 66 to be in second place, one shot behind.

Sharing third at five under the card is former triple champion Craig Parry, West Australian Greg Chalmers, Queenslander Brad Kennedy and Richard Ball from New South Wales.

Peter Lonard, who is chasing his third major win in succession after victories in the Australian Open and Australian PGA, rebounded from a poor start to be in a group of players one shot further back at four under the card.

Hughes, who has regained his US Tour players' card for 2005 after a top 10 finish in the secondary Nationwide Tour, was out in 31 after a run of five birdies.

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