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Phoenix suspended with Palmer on top

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ryan Palmer parred his final hole at dusk for 7-under 64 and the lead Thursday in the suspended first round of the Phoenix Open.

The start was delayed an hour because of frost, and play was suspended because of darkness at 6:05 p.m. with 42 players unable to finish. Last year, frost and frozen greens delayed play nine hours during the week, forcing a Monday finish.

"I knew I was going to be here in the morning for the second round, so I wasn't worried about it if we had to come back and restart," Palmer said. "So, I didn't think about it and I just kept hitting shots and sticking to my game plan."

Webb Simpson was a stroke back on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale.

"It's one of those courses that just fits your eye well," said Simpson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 6.

Palmer, no relation to the legendary Arnold Palmer, switched back to a trusted Odyssey putter model after missing the cuts this year in the Sony Open and Humana Challenge. The three-time PGA Tour winner made seven birdie putts from 10-15 feet. He was 8 under after a birdie on No. 6 but had his lone bogey on No. 7 and parred the final two holes.

Jarrod Lyle, Harrison Frazar, Derek Lamely, Kevin Na and Chez Reavie were two strokes behind at 66, and Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner and Spencer Levin also were 5 under.

PGA EUROPE: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied his last three holes for a 6-under 66 at the Qatar Masters in Doha, overcoming wind and blowing sand to lead John Daly by a shot after the first round. Daly (67) was followed by K.J. Choi (68) and Jason Day (68). Six players, including 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie and Nicolas Colsaerts, were three shots off the pace.

MICKELSON SUIT: Phil Mickel­son filed a lawsuit against Canadian Internet service provider Videotron S.E.N.C to learn the identity of a person who has been posting "vexatious statements" that the four-time major champion says are a deliberate attack on his reputation. Comments posted on Yahoo Sports claim among other things that Mickelson's wife had an affair and that the golfer fathered an illegitimate child.

Phoenix suspended with Palmer on top 02/02/12 [Last modified: Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:30pm]
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