Golf: Donald hopes disappear in the cold

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South Africa’s James Kingston claimed the clubhouse lead in the weather-disrupted BMW PGA Championship as Luke Donald’s bid for a third straight victory suffered a potentially fatal blow.

Kingston recorded seven birdies and one bogey to card a six-under-par 66 at Wentworth shortly before the threat of lightning saw play suspended at 3:42pm, with the final group having teed off seconds earlier.

A 90-minute delay meant the opening round would not be completed on schedule, but there was enough time for Donald to sign for an opening 78 to lie 12 shots off the lead.

“I got off to a very slow start, it felt like I had no rhythm and feel,” said Donald, who is looking to emulate Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000) in winning the European Tour’s flagship event for three years in a row. “I don’t know if it was the cold but I was struggling to feel my hands a little bit. Even when I had my opportunities I didn’t take them.”

Worksop golfers Lee Westwood and Mark Foster are two under while fit-again Sheffield putter Danny Willett is three shots further back.