Levy and Lee tied for Shenzhen lead, Watson off the pace


Lee Soomin returned from a stoppage in play to draw level with Alexander Levy at the top of the Shenzhen International leaderboard, but Bubba Watson sits five shots adrift with the opening round set to conclude on Friday.

Levy, who won his first European Tour event at Genzon Golf Club with the 2014 China Open, got off to a great start at the same course with a birdie on the first hole, but was unable to secure further gains on the front nine.

It was a different story on his return, however, with an eagle on the 17th hole followed by a fourth overall birdie as the Frenchman carded a six-under 66.

"It's always nice to shoot under par. I feel my game is in a good way. It's nice because you have some big memories and, for me, it's really nice to play on this place," said Levy.

He was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Lee, who was four under through 14 before play was halted at 16:44 local time due to the threat of dangerous weather.

The 45-minute break followed back-to-back birdies for the South Korean - playing in just his sixth Tour event - but did not hinder his momentum as he birdied the 17th for a tie of the lead.

However, the pair could be joined by Brandon Stone, who was one shot back with one hole remaining when play was suspended due to darkness.

Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson will not be hugely pleased with his first-round performance on his return to the European Tour - his last non-major outing on this circuit being this event in 2015.

The world number four bogeyed the sixth, but gains on nine and 17 resulted in a one-under 71, a score matched by defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

The Thai had an inconsistent round, shooting three bogeys to leave him tied in 33rd position.

James Morrison was five-under through 14, but double bogeyed the par-three 16th before going one shot over on 17 to end on two under.

Home hopes Zhang Jia and Zhou Guo-wu sit three shots off the lead, though the latter has five holes left to play.