Dodt avoids the storms to claim Gold Coast lead

Andrew Dodt enjoyed a fruitful opening round at the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday as he carded a dazzling 65 before storms curtailed play.

Brisbane-born Dodt sits two clear of the chasing pack on seven under par after a round that was only blemished by a bogey at the par-three 14th.

Having started on the back nine the 30-year-old made the turn in 34 but it was on the front nine that he turned on the style, picking up five shots to surge ahead.

Dodt was one of the early starters on day one at the RACV Royal Pines Resort and he benefited from calmer conditions, something half of the field did not see much of as high winds, storms and the threat of lightning rolled in.

"I wanted to hit the ground running for the 2017 season, right from hole one, shot one, and luckily I managed to do that today," Dodt told the European Tour website.

"It's pretty windy out there at the moment and I knew I had to take advantage of the morning with the way the weather was, but having said that it was still quite windy early on. I know it's going to be tough tomorrow [Friday] afternoon, so you have to take advantage of the morning conditions.

"Thankfully I did, but it's going to be tough tomorrow afternoon." 

Ryan Fox, Julian Suri and Harold Varner III - last year's runner-up - trail Dodt by two heading into the second round, although half of the field are yet to complete their opening 18 holes.

Adam Scott leads a group of six players a shot further back, while Jarrod Lyle's round of three-under included the first hole-in-one of the week.

Lyle's pinpoint seven iron from 179 yards out landed just off the green before the ball hopped onto the putting surface and rolled into the cup.

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