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Bjorn Leads Rain-Delayed Singapore Open


Thomas Bjorn of Denmark carded a 5-under 66 to take the lead in the Singapore Open. The opening 18 holes of the $6 million European Tour event - which began Thursday on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club - were not completed as play was halted by a rain storm.

Half the field - 78 players - did not finish the first round, which will be re-started Friday morning prior to the start of the second round. With his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in the gallery, No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy got in only eight holes - in even-par - and will return early Friday to resume play.

Bjorn carded six birdies and a bogey Thursday to temporarily go up by a stroke over England's Simon Khan, Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil and Spaniard Pablo Martin.

Bjorn told reporters later that the recently redesigned host course was going to be difficult. "I came here and saw the golf course and it's set up to be tricky this year," he said. "It's not the longest golf course in the world, so if you can keep it in the fairway you can produce a score, and I did that very well today. That's only round one, so we'll work from here."

Major champions Phil Mickelson and Padrain Harrington were two entrants who found the course challenging as Mickelson carded a 73 and the Irishman a 74. With both players starting on the 10th tee, Mickelson had two birdies, a pair of bogeys and a double on the par-3 14th (his fifth), while Harrington could only muster a bogey and a double on the par-5 fourth (his 13th).

Paul Casey, Y.E. Yang and Kwanchai Tannin got into the clubhouse with 68s on the par-71 layout.

Ian Poulter, who won last week's WGC-HSBC Champions, isn't entered in the Singapore tournament.

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012088/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.