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Donald sets pace at stormy Sun City

Luke Donald of Britain tees off on the 15th hole during the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai October 31, 20
Luke Donald of Britain tees off on the 15th hole during the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai October 31, 20

SUN CITY, South Africa (Reuters) - Former world number one Luke Donald made a blistering start to the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Thursday but the first round was cut short by thunderstorms.

Five-under-par after 11 holes, England's Donald held a two-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Dane Thomas Bjorn and Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge at the Gary Player Country Club.

Play was halted just after midday because of the threat of lightning from a storm that arrived quickly over the course and forced the 30-man field off for just under three hours.

They returned for another hour's play before being warned off again by a dramatic blast of the siren and play was eventually suspended. The first round will be completed on Friday morning.

Donald birdied the opening hole and eagled the long second to race to three under par. Four straight pars kept the 35-year-old on three under when forced off the course but the long delay did not deter the leader who picked up further strokes at the eighth and ninth.

De Jonge moved into contention with an eagle at the ninth where he holed out with a wedge.

Donaldson was three under after 12 but Bjorn is still back on the sixth with the prospect of 30 holes to play on Friday in order to complete the first and second rounds.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer went to two under par as the elite field set off to compete for a prize fund of $6.5 million

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com +27828257807 Messaging mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; l)

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