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Euro Tour first round washed out in Durban

Recent wet weather in KwaZulu-Natal had already affected the layout at the Royal Durban Golf Club.

THE FIRST ROUND of the European Tour’s Nelson Mandela Championship was called off on Thursday after heavy rain left the course waterlogged.

Recent wet weather in KwaZulu-Natal had already affected the layout at the Royal Durban Golf Club, before more rain this week rendered the venue unplayable.

Mikael Eriksson, tournament director of the European Tour, told Sky Sports he hopes the inaugural edition of the competition can go ahead on Friday, with a full 72 holes still expected.

“The fairways are very waterlogged and the course hasn’t improved as much as we hoped it would overnight and further rain early this morning put us back another few hours,” Eriksson said.

“The forecast wasn’t bad at all for today and we hoped the course might have dried out a little bit more but it hasn’t actually.

“We tried early this morning to shorten the golf course – made a couple of par fours into par threes, one par five into a par three as well – in an attempt to start, but with the additional rain as we were trying to restart it didn’t work.

“The good scenario is that we start at 0630 on Friday morning, we play the first round tomorrow, the second on Saturday, have a cut and then go from there. We are still hoping to get 72 holes in.

“The tees and greens are not a problem, they are fine, it’s the fairways and rough that are bad. I’m hoping the sun is going to come out but there could be some more rain on the way this afternoon.”

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