Martin Kaymer completed an 8-under 63 to tie Sergio Garcia for the lead Friday after the wind-interrupted first round of the Castello Masters.
Kaymer had four straight birdies in a strong return to competitive golf after breaking several toes in a go-cart crash in August in Arizona.
The 24-year-old German was 4-under after 12 holes when play was called Thursday evening because of high winds.
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Kaymer had birdied his last two holes, and came back with birdies on the first two Friday and added two more later to join defending champion Garcia in first place.
Australian Robert Allenby was in position to make it a three-way tie when he stood at 8-under with two to play. But he bogeyed the par-four 17th and made only par on the last hole. He finished the round tied for third with Michael Jonzon of Sweden at 64.
Thursday’s wind-curtailed round had already been interrupted for three hours because of strong gusts. Half the field had to finish the round on Friday.
Garcia, playing on his home course where his father is the club pro, is hoping to retain a title for the first time in his professional career.
Because of flight delays, Masters champion Angel Cabrera was disqualified after arriving late.
England’s Chris Wood withdrew after twisting his ankle in a fall down the clubhouse steps.
“I misjudged the last step and fell awkwardly,” he told European Tour radio. “I hit balls last night, but after going back to the hotel I couldn’t put any pressure on it. It’s better this morning, but not good enough to carry on.”