RALEIGH, N.C. -- With play suspended for the day due to darkness, three players share the lead at The Rex Hospital Open on the Nationwide Tour. Josh Broadaway, Jeff Gallagher and Bradley Iles are in the clubhouse at 7 under. Four players are tied for fourth at 6 under and another five tied for seventh at 5 under.
Play was temporarily halted from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. due to heavy rain and threats of lightning. The first round was suspended for the day shortly after 8 p.m. with 21 players still on the course. These players will resume Round 1 at 8 a.m. ET Friday. The second round is scheduled to begin on time at 7:05 a.m. ET.
First to finish of the current leaders was Broadaway (Albany, Ga.), who rattled off seven birdies in his first 14 holes. After bogeying No. 17, he bounced back with another birdie on the last to get back to 7 under.
"I got off to a quick start and made a lot of putts -- it's really good to see them dropping," Broadaway said. "I've played well the last few weeks but just haven't been making putts."
Broadaway needed only 24 putts in the first round that included 12 one-putts and six two-putts.
Iles (New Zealand) and Gallagher (Marion, Ind.) carded solid bogey-free rounds, including a 29 for Iles on his second nine (he began on the No. 10).
Current Nationwide Tour money leader Michael Sim finished the day two shots behind the leaders with a 5-under par 66. Sim is looking for his third win of the season and an instant promotion to the PGA TOUR.
Due the wet conditions, tournament officials implemented a local rule that allowed players to lift, clean and replace their ball in closely-mown areas through the green (areas cut to fairway height or less).
Friday's weather forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies in the morning with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. At the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low-60 players and ties.
Notebook: The Rex Hospital Open is the 10th of 29 official events on the 2009 Nationwide Tour schedule...Sixteen-year-old Andrew Knox of Cary, N.C. finished the day at 1 over and tied for 135th. Knox gained a sponsor exemption by winning the Junior Invitational event held at TPC Wakefield Plantation last Sunday ... North Carolina's top-16 high school girls and top-56 high school boys were invited to participate ... The scoring average for Round 1 is currently slightly less than one stroke under par at 70.048.