Stallings and Mullinax lead storm-hit Zurich Classic

Scott Stallings of the United States putts as Martin Laird of Scotland looks on at the 15th green during the first round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana on Thursday in Avondale, Louisiana. — AFP

NEW ORLEANS — The duo of Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax finished their round with a 11-under 61 before storms and then darkness prevented the completion of the opening round of the Zurich Classic on Thursday.

Only 13 teams were able to complete their first rounds at TPC Louisiana following a weather delay that included lightning in the area. Play will resume at 7 am local time (12 noon GMT) on Friday.

Martin Laird/Nick Taylor and Brian Gay/Rory Sabbatini were tied for second at 10 under. Laird and Taylor finished their round while Gay and Sabbatini still have four holes to play.

Another shot off the pace were the teams of Joel Dahmen/Brandon Harkins and Brice Garnett/Chesson Hadley, who were both able to complete their rounds.

Tournament officials said they are hopeful of getting the round completed on Friday.

"We're going to play as much golf as we can today and finish up what we have to tomorrow," said PGA TOUR rules official Gary Young. "Hopefully not into Saturday. But I think we'll have enough time to get it done by tomorrow."

The two-player team event includes Four-ball (best ball) rounds on Thursday/Saturday and Foursomes (alternate shot) on Friday/Sunday. The field will be cut from 60 teams to 35 following the second round.

Tiger to return to Japan at

Zozo Championship in October

Tiger Woods will return to Japan for the first time since 2006 to compete in the inaugural Zozo Championship in October, the Masters champion said on Wednesday.

Woods called Japan "one of my favorites countries" in a tweet announcing his decision to play the PGA Tour's first official event in the Asian country.

"It's going to be a fun fall."

The 43-year-old American won his 15th major title when he came from behind to earn his fifth green jacket in Augusta earlier this month, ending an 11-year major title drought.

He last teed up in Japan 13 years ago at the Dunlop Phoenix, where he lost to Padraig Harrington in a playoff.

The Zozo Championship will be held at the Accordia golf Narashino Country Club from Oct. 24-Oct. 27. — Agencies