Waterford rookie Kevin Phelan was just two shots behind clubhouse leader Simon Dyson when play was suspended in the Tshwane Open in South Africa.
The former Walker Cup star, 23, was tied for eighth place on five under par at Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate after picking up five birdies in his opening round when a thunderstorm brought play to an end for the day.
Dyson hit the headlines for the right reasons following his suspended two-month ban from the European Tour in December when he birdied his last four holes to card a flawless seven-under-par 65 and lead by one from compatriot Ross Fisher and South African duo Jared Harvey and Erik van Rooyen.
He was disqualified from the BMW Masters in October after being seen to deliberately press down a spike mark but while he was cleared of "a premeditated act of cheating" by a disciplinary panel he was given a two-month ban suspended for 18 months, fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £7,500 towards the European Tour's costs.
"It kind of gave me the love of the game back a little bit," Dyson told reporters after his round. "There was the chance it might have been taken away from me for a few months and thankfully it wasn't.
"It made me really knuckle down and get my head sorted and enjoy it again. I really enjoyed today's round and my golf this year, even though I missed the last couple of cuts.
"I am playing some good golf and enjoying it, which is pretty big really considering it's my 14th year on tour."
Shane Lowry bounced back to form after missing his first x cuts three cuts of the year, firing six birdies in a four under 68 to share 14th while Michael Hoey was 24th after a three under 69.
It was tougher for the rest of the Irish however with Peter Lawrie one over after 14 holes and Damien McGrane back in 122nd spot after a two over 74 featuring just one birdie.
Gareth Maybin also has work to do to make the cut after posting a three over 75.
Incomplete Round 1 Scores (RSA unless otherwise specified):
-7 - Simon Dyson (ENG), Trevor Fisher Jnr 
-6 - Jared Harvey, Ross Fisher (ENG), Erik van Rooyen, Darren Fichardt , Danie van Tonder 
-5 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN), Chris Wood (ENG), Shiv Kapur (IND), Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) , Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) , Kevin Phelan (IRL) 
-4 - Daan Huizing (NED), Magnus A Carlsson (SWE), Anthony Wall (ENG), Shane Lowry (IRL), Jean Hugo, Ricardo Santos (POR), Carlos Del Moral (ESP), Jacques Blaauw, Maximilian Kieffer (GER) , Jake Roos 
-3 - Heinrich Bruiners, Ruan de Smidt, Jorge Campillo (ESP), David Howell (ENG), Michael Hoey (NIR), Brandon Pieters, Jack Doherty (SCO), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Peter Whiteford(SCO), Merrick Bremner, Thomas Aiken , James Morrison (ENG) 
-2 - Mark Foster (ENG), Robert Rock (ENG), Toto Thimba (Jnr), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG), Justin Harding, Christiaan Basson, Jbe' Kruger, Haydn Porteous, George Coetzee, Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Mikko Korhonen (FIN), Joel Sjoholm (SWE), Soren Hansen (DEN), Adrian Otaegui (ESP), Paul Waring (ENG), Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Oliver Bekker, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND), Nacho Elvira (ESP) , Edoardo Molinari (ITA) , Fredrik Andersson Hed (SWE) , Graham van der Merwe 
-1 - Bryce Easton, Shaun Norris, Doug McGuigan, Jaco Van Zyl, Hennie Otto, PH McIntyre, Warren Abery, Andrea Pavan (ITA), James Kingston, Louis de Jager, CJ du Plessis, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP), Colin Nel, Titch Moore, Vaughn Groenewald, Connor Arendell (USA) , Jaco Ahlers , Neil Schietekat , Jens Dantorp (SWE) , Tjaart van der Walt , Tyrone Mordt 
Par - David Drysdale (SCO), JB Hansen (DEN), Andreas Harto (DEN), Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Gregory Bourdy (FRA), James Kamte, Daniel Brooks (ENG), Thomas Pieters (BEL), Omar Sandys, Callum Mowat, Patrik Sjoland (SWE), Andrew Curlewis, Jamie McLeary (SCO), Alex Haindl, Keenan Davidse, Michael Jonzon (SWE), Lyle Rowe, Wallie Coetsee, Justin Walters , Tyrone Ferreira , Matthew Baldwin (ENG) , Graeme Storm (ENG) , Brinson Paolini (USA) , Gert Myburgh , Grant Veenstra 
+1 - JJ Senekal, Dean Burmester, Charl Coetzee, Romain Wattel (FRA), Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Niclas Fasth (SWE), Marc Warren (SCO), Ulrich van den Berg, Allan Versfeld, Michael Hollick, Alan McLean (SCO), Michiel Bothma, Richard Bland (ENG) , Oliver Fisher (ENG) , Ross McGowan (ENG) , Francois Calmels (FRA) , Peter Lawrie (IRL) , Tyrone Ryan 
+2 - Damien McGrane (IRL), Hendrik Buhrmann, Chris Swanepoel, Eddie Pepperell (ENG), Chris Doak (SCO), Garrick Porteous (AMA) (ENG), Divan van den Heever, Keith Horne, Simon Wakefield (ENG), Johan Carlsson (SWE), James Heath (ENG) , Estanislao Goya (ARG) , Martin du Toit , Lindani Ndwandwe , Ryan Cairns (ZIM) , Sam Walker (ENG) , Ryan Strauss , Morne Buys 
+3 - Peter Karmis, Gareth Maybin (NIR), Roberto Lupini, Jose-Filipe Lima (POR), Gregory Havret (FRA) 
+4 - Scott Jamieson (SCO), Dylan Frittelli, Grant Muller, Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), Mikael Lundberg(SWE)
+5 - Dawie Van der Walt , Stuart Manley (WAL) , Nic Henning 
+11 - Yubin Jung, Sipho Bujela