A strong ‘back’ nine helped Matt Wallace turn his first round fortunes around and leave him among the early challengers at the Hero Indian Open.

The Moor Park professional fired a three-under-par first round of 69 to lie four shots off the lead and in a tie for ninth place when play was suspended for bad light in Delhi.

Having teed off from the 10th, the 27-year-old made a solid start with four straight pars. However, a double bogey six at the par four 14th followed by a four at the par three 16th left Wallace in early trouble at three-over-par.

The Pinner-based golfer was soon to set about repairing the damage though, starting with a birdie four at the 18th rapidly followed by a three at the par four first.

Wallace repeated the back-to-back birdie feat at the par five fourth and par three fifth holes, but then slipped back to level par with a five at the par four sixth.

But that bogey was to prove only a brief blip as the Moor Park player picked up his fifth birdie in eight holes with a three at the seventh, before moving himself firmly into early contention with an eagle three at the eighth.

Currently sitting 76th in the Race to Dubai standings, Wallace is looking to build on his highest finish of the European Tour season so far with a tie for 19th at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters last time out.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo was the first round leader when play was suspended on seven-under, two shots clear of a five-way tie for second.