(Reuters) - South African George Coetzee was leading the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot when the second round was suspended due to high winds on Friday.
Coetzee picked up three strokes in his first eight holes to move to nine under par, one ahead of overnight leader Sergio Garcia.
The windy conditions added to a difficult day for tournament organisers following the withdrawal of former world number one Tiger Woods because of a back injury.
“We’ve had a fairly challenging day today with the wind,” tournament director Mike Stewart told the European PGA Tour website.
“Winds increased during the course of lunchtime into the early afternoon to the point where we had gusts approaching 36 miles an hour and beyond.”
American Woods, a 14-times major champion, pulled out of the tournament before the second round after carding a five-over-par 77 on Thursday.
German Martin Kaymer and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello were the clubhouse leaders on four under par after matching rounds of 69.
Play was scheduled to resume at 0730 local time (0330 GMT) on Saturday.
Reporting by Ed Osmond