Local knowledge seemed to pay dividends for former Wentworth resident Thomas Bjorn as he stormed to a record-breaking 10 under par on the famous West Course.
Heavy rain twice halted play as the threat of lightning forced the players of the course for well over two hours. However, by the time the first delay came, Bjorn was home dry in the clubhouse having carded a 62, equalling the course record.
"I was signing my scorecard when the siren went and Stephen Gallacher looked at me and says, 'You're not having a very bad day, are you?'" Bjorn said. "We could kind of feel there was something going on in the weather, so it was nice to get in."
Bjorn will start round two with a two shot lead over Ireland's Shane Lowry, who, despite being affected by both breaks, carded an impressive eight under as the heavy rain softened the otherwise terrifying greens.
In fact birdies were never far away when the weather allowed play. Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello is on seven under and the likes of Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy are all sitting pretty at four under.
Stenson will be chasing something other than the BMW PGA Championship title as he could need as little as a 30th place finish to vault Adam Scott and become the best ranked golfer in the world.
Bjorn's excellent round should not, however, overshadow the achievements of Lowry. The 27-year-old came fourth in 2011 and 12th last year but looks set to significantly improve on that if his first round is anything to go by.
"I love it around here," said Lowry, who was fourth in 2011 and 12th last year. "It's a great event. It's a great golf course.
"I've been struggling and my best finish this season was last week, tied 15th in the Spanish Open. I've missed a few cuts and haven't really been putting that well but I managed to find something at home a couple of weeks ago and hopefully can keep it going.
"I went back to an old putter that I used years ago and it brought back good memories maybe."
Sergio Garcia was an unfortunately casualty of today's play after withdrawing with a knee injury after carding an even par 72. There was also a hard fall from grace for defeding champion Matteo Manassero, who carded an ugly eight over par 80, including two double bogeys on the ninth and 17th.
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