European Golf Tour

Kingston leads suspended PGA Championship

Surrey, England (Sports Network) - James Kingston carded a 6-under 66 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the PGA Championship before play was suspended due to darkness.

The first round at the Wentworth Club was delayed for an hour and a half earlier in the day due to threat of lightning.

Mikko Ilonen sits alone in second place at 5-under, while Martin Wiegele is one of 15 players still remaining on the course and owns a share of third at minus-4 through 13 holes.

Wiegele is joined by Scott Henry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who have each completed their rounds.

"It wasn't an easy day," Fernandez-Castano said about the weather. "I think we've been quite lucky at the end. I've been expecting worse weather than we had at the end, and I played nicely."

Thirteen-time European Tour winner Thomas Bjorn is among six players sharing sixth place at 3-under.

Seven of the world's top 17 players are in the field for the European Tour's marquee event. The highest ranked participant is world No. 2 Rory McIlroy, who carded a 2-over 74 to sit in a large group tied for 82nd place.

Kingston traded a birdie at the second with a bogey at the third to remain at even par, but he would not drop another shot the rest of the day.

After parring the next two holes, Kingston poured in back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh to hit the turn at 2-under.

He again recorded consecutive birdies at the 12th and 13th to move further up the leaderboard, and picked up two more strokes at the 15th and 17th to reach 6-under.

He closed with a par at the last to remain there.

"Getting an invite into this event, what a great feeling to be back here. I think I've made the most of it today," said Kingston, who is in the field on a sponsor's exemption because he lost his European Tour card at the end of last season.

Earlier, Ilonen parred his first three holes before collecting a trio of birdies at the fourth, sixth and ninth.

He later followed consecutive birdies at the 14th and 15th with a bogey at the 16th.

Ilonen, however, recovered with a birdie at the 18th to grab the clubhouse lead prior to Kingston's run.

Wiegele opened his first round with five straight pars before tripping to a bogey at the sixth.

He then caught fire with five birdies over his next six holes to reach 4- under.

After parring the 13th, his momentum was halted as play was called for the day.

NOTES: The first round will resume at 8:30 a.m. local time Friday and second-round tee times will not be affected ... Jason Levermore hit a hole-in- one at the second ... All but one of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team from last year are in the field for this event ... Defending champion Luke Donald stumbled to a 6-over 78 in his first round.

05/23 18:14:49 ET