(CNN) -- Defending champion Sergio Garcia overcame extreme winds to take a one-shot lead at his home Castello Masters when play was cut short in the opening round on Thursday.
Home hope Sergio Garcia has slumped down the world rankings to 10th this year.
The Spaniard carded an eight-under-par 63 as he began his bid to defend a title for the first time in his career, leaving him ahead of Sweden's Michael Jonzon.
The 29-year-old's task was made easier when one of his main rivals, Masters champion Angel Cabrera, was disqualified after failing to make his tee time.
The Argentine arrived late after flight problems on his journey from Bermuda, where he finished second in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf behind Lucas Glover on Tuesday.
Cabrera arrived 15 minutes after the decision was made to suspend play at lunchtime due to strong winds which saw the players off the course for three hours.
By that stage Garcia, who has slumped to 10th in the world rankings and without a top-three finish this year, was on the 17th hole of his round.
On the resumption, he birdied the 553-yard eighth hole but then dropped a shot at his final hole.
"You never like to finish like that, but other than that it was pretty solid and I made some nice putts," he told reporters.
"We get a wind like that only three or four days a year -- and usually on those days we chill at home!"
Garcia's playing partner and compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal shot 65 to be tied for third with Italy's Emanuele Canonica, who caddied for the veteran two-time major winner at The Masters in April.
The second half of the field were still trying to complete their rounds when play was called off due to bad light.