SEOUL (Reuters) - Australian Marcus Fraser was the clubhouse leader after fog wrecked the opening round of the $2.9 million Ballantine's Championship on Thursday, leaving more than a third of field yet to hit a shot.
Six hours and 10 minutes of play were lost in total when fog descended on the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event on Jeju island, shrouding the Pinx Golf Club and severely restricting visibility.
Fraser prospered despite the conditions to shoot a superb seven-birdie 65 and top the leaderboard by a shot from Britain's Mark Foster, who carded six-under-par 66.
"It was just one of those days where I felt like I did a lot of things right," said the unheralded Australian. "It's nice when the round turns out that way and would be even nicer if you can play like that all the time."
Three-times major winner Ernie Els was also one of 36 players who finished their rounds and the South African managed a 68 for a share of sixth alongside Korean-American world number 10 Anthony Kim and several others.
"I stayed patient and I'm happy with how I played, I just didn't score very well," said Kim, who finished third at the U.S. Masters earlier this month.
"It's going to be a long day tomorrow for the guys in front of us and we're just going to hang in there and wait until we can go play some golf.
"The greens were very slow today. My last tournament was the Masters, so the greens were very fast there and here it's slow. So it's a little bit of an adjustment."
In addition to the players who failed to start, another large part of the field had not completed their rounds when play was suspended for poor light.
It will commence at 7am local time (2200 GMT) on Friday to try and clear the backlog.
"Tomorrow, if there's no wind like now, you can really attack the golf course, so all depends on the weather," said world number seven Els.
(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Beijing, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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