Bad weather intervened at the Australian PGA Championship forcing play to be suspended with half the 156-man field still out on the course.

The klaxon sounded just after 3pm due to thunderstorms, but officials hope to get the first two rounds completed with an early start on Friday.

New Zealand’s Tim Wilkinson held the clubhouse lead after a six-under-par 66 having gone out in 31, but he bogeyed the 18th, and he now shares the lead with Australian Peter Wilson who was playing the 15th when play was suspended.  

Defending champion Peter Lonard shot 70 and South Africa’s Tim Clark – who finished tied fourth at last week’s Australian Masters – was also at two-under after nine holes before play was halted.

Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy posted a 67 to sit one off the clubhouse lead, and American John Daly carded a one-under-par 71.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Robert Allenby is seeking a fourth Australian PGA Championship, a victory that he hopes to dedicate to his terminally ill mother who is battling lung and kidney cancer.

“I didn’t think I was ready, mentally and emotionally, to play this week,” said Allenby.

“I said to mum on Tuesday morning when we were having breakfast before I flew up here that I was happy to stay at home.”

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