Bubba Watson topped the leaderboard at the Shenzhen International after an opening round curtailed first by the threat of lightning before darkness saw play suspended for the day in China.

While the Scottish duo of David Drysdale and Stephen Gallacher made it to the clubhouse with two-under 70s before the halt, Watson, the two-time Masters champion, recovered from an early bogey to post a six-under 66, his lowest round of the year to date.

That gave the American a one-shot lead over the rest of the field, with five players tied on five under and a further four just two off the pace.

Loading article content

Starting on the back nine, Watson dropped his only shot on his third hole - the 12th - but bounced back with three birdies over the next four holes to reach the turn in 34.

He picked up another shot on the first before sinking an eagle on the next, then finishing his round with a final birdie to card six under and claim the clubhouse lead at the Genzon Golf Club.

"You know anytime you shoot six-under, shoot in the 60s, you're happy with it, so all in all, a great day,” he said.

Watson had completed his round when almost two hours of play was lost because of the lightning threat, while South African pair Dean Burmester and Haydn Porteous, France's Gregory Bourdy, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Maximilian Kieffer of Germany were also able to finish to sit within a shot of the leader.

Drysdale and Gallacher both picked up eagles at the 13th in their two-under cards while Grantown’s Duncan Stewart finished a shot behind his countrymen after a 71.

In Spain, meanwhile, Gemma Dryburgh was spearheading the Scottish challenge after round one of the Ladies European Tour’s Mediterranean Open. Dryburgh had a four-under 67 and was sharing second, just a shot behind Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist. Pamela Pretswell fired a 68 with Kelsey MacDonald a shot back on 69.

On the European Challenge Tour, Barassie’s Jack McDonald was the pick of the Scots on the opening day of the Turkish Airlines Challenge at the Gloria resort in Belek.

The former Walker Cup player posted a four-under 68 and found himself six shots behind Finland’s Tappio Pulkkanen, who set a brisk early pace with a 10-under 62. That round, which featured 10 birdies, an eagle and two bogeys left him three shots clear at the top. McDonald’s former Walker Cup team-mate, Grant Forrest, opened with a 69.

On the amateur front, Shannon McWilliam will look to carry on her good recent form in the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Strokeplay Championship over Troon Portland and Royal Troon this weekend.

The Aboyne teenager finished joint runner-up in last week’s Scottish Girls' Open at Monifieth and joins an international field which is headlined by the defending champion, Olivia Winning, who is aiming for a third win in five years.There hasn’t been a Scottish winner of the title since Heather Stirling back in 2002.