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Appleby storms ahead at delayed Australian Open

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Home favorite Stuart Appleby took advantage of an early start to race into a six-shot lead at the Australian Open Friday as a five-hour delay due to high winds left the second round incomplete and players frustrated.

Teeing off from the 10th, Appleby opened his round with two pars at the New South Wales course before play was suspended after gusts of up to 40mph (64kph) forced the stoppage just over one hour after the second round began.

Appleby, an eight times winner on the PGA Tour, returned after the break to record five birdies and a bogey in his round, highlighted by a long putt for eagle on the 18th.

"Its not easy, let me tell you," Appleby told reporters.

"The powers that be didn't get it right. Some guys got screwed by it (the wind)... that's pretty much how the players felt about it. Luck of the draw is a saying you can use here."

The stoppage in play did not come quick enough for some players.

Australian Brett Rumford racked up a quintuple-bogey eight at the par-three second after his tee shot landed near the flag then rolled off the green.

"When you've got balls moving on greens... that's hard to take when it costs you money," compatriot Greg Chalmers told reporters during the break in his level par round which left him at two-under for the tournament, in a tie for 11th.

"There are a lot of guys whose tournament has been kicked out the door. Some people might argue they (organizers suspending play) did it a bit too late but they made the right decision at the end," Chalmers said.

Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy (76) was one of those who struggled in the high winds and could miss the cut as he finished on 149 five-over in a tie for 65th place.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by John O'brien)