Rain Slow Play at Alstom Open

Heavy thunderstorms left about half the players in the field of the Alstom Open de France with incomplete first rounds on Thursday.

One of those, Germany’s Maximillian Kieffer, is the tentative leader at 4-under through 14 holes.  Despite a double-bogey on No. 2, Kieffer had three birdies in a span of four holes at the turn and will try to keep things going as he wraps up his first round Friday morning.

He has a 1-stroke lead over five players, only three of whom have actually finished their own first rounds – Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, France’s Victor Dubuisson, and South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl.

Dubuisson and Wiesberger are the heavy hitters here, both ranked in the world Top 40.  Another seven players, including 2014 US Open champion Martin Kaymer, are tied at 2-under.

Things did not go as swimmingly for two-time defending champion Graeme McDowell, who is 1-over through 17 holes.  McDowell was off from the start, 3-over through 8 holes, but managed to birdie 15 and 17 before rain forced him off the 18th.

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