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Play underway at Royal Durban

Durban – The first round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship finally got underway on Saturday morning after the first two days were washed out.

Persistent rain in the build-up, and an unusual thunderstorm on Thursday night, left parts of the Royal Durban Golf Club unplayable.

The first round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship finally got underway on Saturday morning after the first two days were washed out. Credit: Gallo Images

But a massive mop-up operation by staff, members and local services on Friday, along with near-30 degree temperatures, ensured that the course was cleared for action.

Organisers were hopeful that the rainy weather would stay away over the next two days to allow for at least 36 holes to be played, although Norwegian Espen Kofstad's opening shot off the first tee was under overcast skies on the east coast.

The co-sanctioned tournament marks the start of the 2013

European Tour season and is the first of a record six events to be played in South Africa. – Sapa

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