Santo Antonio da Serra, Madeira (SportsNetwork.com) - Joachim B. Hansen fired a bogey-free, 4-under 68 in Friday's first round and he holds a 1-shot lead at the suspended Madeira Islands Open.
Hansen has never won on the European Tour and his only start on tour this season was at the Joburg Open, where he tied for 37th.
"The course is nice, really good conditions, and it's good they made the greens that much slower so the ball doesn't roll in the wind," said Hansen. "No bogeys was pretty impressive, I'd take that every day. I didn't feel nervous out there and I just knew what to do."
After the tournament was shortened to 54 holes when play failed to start on Thursday due to heavy winds, the start first round was delayed one hour, 50 minutes on Friday for the same reason.
When play finally got underway, all of the morning groups were able to finish their first rounds before rain halted the first round for the day around 2:20 p.m. ET. All afternoon groups were still on the course and failed to finish their rounds. The first round will continue 4 a.m. Saturday.
Five players are currently tied for second. Andrew Marshall, Adrien Saddier and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet finished their rounds at 3-under 69, while Roope Kakko and Jeppe Huldahl are still playing and are also at minus-3. Kakko is through 14 holes, while Huldahl is through eight.
Hansen, playing the back nine first, was in one of the first groups to tee off and he was able to take the lead early on.
It was a great start for Hansen as the long wait to get going did not seem to fluster him. He drained two birdies over his first three holes, getting Hansen into red figures right away.
Hansen went on cruise control for a while as he made six consecutive pars from No. 13 and he made the turn at 2-under.
Like the his first nine, Hansen started his closing nine with two gains in three holes. Hansen finished up with six straight pars from No. 4, turning in identical front and back nines.
"I felt great out there and it's a good start," Hansen said. "I missed a short one on the 11th hole for three birdies in a row to start, but I feel confident with my swing and I know where the ball is going. I just need to control it in the wind."
NOTES: Hansen's best finish on tour was at the Scottish Open in 2013, where he ended tied for third ... Hansen graduated from the Challenge Tour in 2012. He lost his European Tour card last season after failing to finish inside the top-110 on the Order of Merit ... Huldahl is the only player within one shot that has a win on the European Tour. He took home the 2009 Wales Open title.