Another fightback by Paul Dunne
 NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 09:  Matteo Manassero of Italy plays a shot during the first round of the Hero Indian Open at Dlf Golf and Country Club on March 9, 2017 in New Delhi, India.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 09:  Matteo Manassero of Italy plays a shot during the first round of the Hero Indian Open at Dlf Golf and Country Club on March 9, 2017 in New Delhi, India.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Paul Dunne recovered from a poor start for the second week running to card a level par 72 in the weather-delayed opening round of the Hero Indian Open.

In last week's Tshwane Open in South Africa he was five over par after seven holes of the first round but went on to finish a career-best tied sixth on 12-under par.

Starting on the back nine at a tight and penal DLF Golf and Country Club in Delhi, Dunne bogeyed the 10th and 14th, then followed a birdie at the 17th with a double bogey seven at the 18th to turn in three-over-par 39.

But he made amends on the journey home, picking up shots at the first, third and fourth before following a bogey at the eighth with a closing birdie three for his 72.

A blemish-free back nine helped Matteo Manassero to set the clubhouse target with a four-under-par 68.

The Italian had been overtaken by course leader David Horsey when the onset of darkness halted play for the night, following an earlier 90-minute suspension caused by the threat of lightning.

Only two players had yet to record a bogey - England’s Horsey, who was five under par after 15 holes when play was suspended for the day, and Frenchman Gregory Havret, one further back at three-under-par after 12 holes.

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey, who lost his full playing rights last year, had four bogeys and two birdies in 10 holes and will resume tied for 70th place on two-over-par in his first European Tour start since last December.

Four-time European Tour winner Manassero had a stuttering start with a double-bogey on the tenth hole. 

He pulled a shot back with a birdie on the 13th but bogeyed the next, before everything clicked into gear from the 17th onwards as he picked up five shots in six holes.

England’s Eddie Pepperell picked up back-to-back birdies on the final two holes to sign for a three under par 69. He and Havret are joined by Spain’s Carlos Pigem, who has two holes left to play.

Sam Walker, Steven Tiley, Jose-Filipe Lima, Romain Langasque, Felipe Aguilar, Eduardo De La Riva and Anthony Wall are amongst a group of 11 players one further back at two under.

Defending champion, India’s SSP Chawrasia, is at one under par with three holes remaining, while his compatriot and 2015 winner Anirban Lahiri endured a torrid round to finish at four under par.

The highest-ranked player in the field, Rafa Cabrera Bello, signed for a one over par 73, after an erratic round that included five birdies and three double-bogeys.

Sixty-six players will complete round one when play resumes at 7 am on Friday morning.

Matteo Manassero

“It was a false start. I just kept playing well and had a lot of birdie chances, and that was the key after starting with a double. You have to be always in play. Otherwise, there will be a lot of high numbers and a lot of doubles. It’s very easy to lose shots on this course.

Eddie Pepperell

“I’m just relieved to be off the golf course. That’s the most stressful three under par I think I’ve ever shot. Not because I played badly. I played really, really well. I hit a couple of bad wedge shots that led to a couple of bogeys on the par fives, but other than that. I hadn’t seen the golf course before today and literally every shot, something can go wrong. It’s an amazing golf course."

Steven Tiley

“This golf course, I mean, if you let it, it will just beat you up in a heartbeat. It’s tough out there. The wind’s blowing. You miss a fairway, it’s pretty much a lost ball. It’s tough, it’s five and a half hours, nearly six and you’ve got to just keep going and see what you can do."