Colin Montgomerie of Scotland completed the rain-delayed first round in 7-under-par 65 Friday, then fired a 1-under 71 for a one-shot lead in the Million Dollar Challenge.
The 12 players vying for the richest first prize in golf - $1 million - were tightly bunched at the halfway mark, with only six strokes separating Montgomerie and last-place Tom Lehman of the United States, the British Open champion and U.S. PGA player of the year.Ian Woosnam of Wales and South Africa' Ernie Els were tied for second at 137, one stroke in front of Nick Price of Zimbabwe and the U.S. trio of Steve Stricker, U.S. Open champion Steve Jones and U.S. PGA champion Mark Brooks.
For the first time in the 16-year history of the tournament, heavy rain in the usually arid hills of northern South Africa forced play to be suspended Thursday after a few holes.
On Friday, players started early to complete the first round, then turned around for another 18 holes in the afternoon.
Due to muddy conditions Friday, players were allowed to clean their balls and place them a scorecard-length away under local rules.
"The scoring was low because of the soft, perceptive greens . . ." said Jones, who had rounds of 67 and 71.
Montgomerie, paired with hometown favorite Els, complained that the crowds were partisan.
Defending champion Corey Pavin of the United States was tied with Bernhard Langer of Germany at 139, one stroke ahead of Mark O'Meara of the United States.
Nick Faldo of Britain, this year's Masters champion and winner of the 1994 Million Dollar Challenge, was five strokes back at 141 after recovering from a disastrous start in the rain Thursday when he was 5-over after three holes before play was stopped.
Greg Norman Classic
MELBOURNE, Australia - American Jerry Kelly, playing before high winds and an electrical storm hit the area, shot a 3-under-par 69 today for a share of the second-round lead in the Greg Norman Holden Classic.
New Zealand's Elliott Boult shot a 70 and first-round leaders Rolf Muntz of the Netherlands and Lucas Parsons of Australia had 72s to join Kelly at 5-under 139 on the Royal Melbourne Golf Club course.
Norman, one of several players who struggled to with the strong winds after play was suspended for over an hour by the mid-afternoon electrical storm, shot a 75 to drop five back at 144.