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Play abandoned in Durban, again

Golf

Durban – The first round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship was delayed again, with play abandoned on Friday due to heavy overnight rain at Royal Durban Golf Club.

There was no rain coming down at the 6.30am tee-off time, but severe thundershowers, coupled with excessive rain in the east coast city over recent weeks, left parts of the course unplayable.

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 06, Rain delays the start of day 1 of the Nelson Mandela Championship at Royal Durban Golf Club on December 06, 2012 in Durban, South Africa Photo by Luke Walker / Sunshine Tour / Gallo Images

The scheduled first day’s play on Thursday was also abandoned due to the conditions, with organisers now hoping to start the co-sanctioned event, the first in the 2013 European Tour season, on Saturday morning.

“The further overnight rain – around 30 millimetres – and a huge thunderstorm has obviously set us back by a long way now,” said tournament director Mikael Eriksson.

“Every fairway is almost completely under water now and there is no chance we will be able to play at all today (Friday).

“The plan now is to try to start the first round at 6.30am on Saturday.

“We are hiring more pumps and more people to try to clear the water off the golf course as fast as possible.”

Rain on Wednesday had already led to the cancellation of the Pro-Am event. – Sapa

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