Durban - The whole
morning field got underway in the first round of the 100th of the
South African Open Championship, but just two-and-a-half hours later, the
parade was well and truly rained on.
Tour tournament director Gary Todd, in conjunction with his European Tour
counterpart David Williams, had determined that Durban Country Club had become
so waterlogged that further play would be impossible.
really need is 40-degree heat and 50-kilometre-an-hour winds,” said Todd as he
announced that play would only resume at 8.30am on Friday.
“The aim is
to get 36 holes played by the end of Saturday,” he said, “because at least 36
holes constitutes a tournament. Once we have that under our belt, we can look
at the situation again and see if we can get the tournament completed by the
end of the weekend.”
half the field on the course, the rain which has been around the KwaZulu-Natal
city for three days now set in and some greens – notably the fourth and 18th
– became waterlogged.
fairway is a river,” said Todd, “and most of the bunkers are a mess. We can’t
get play underway any earlier on Friday, because we need maximum drainage
was called for the day at 2.30pm, there was a group of five players on
two-under-par: It was headed by Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, who had completed
eight holes on the back nine.
of Scotland was through six and had made two birdies without a dropped shot,
while the two-time winner of the SA Open, Retief Goosen, had made two birdies
in a row in his opening four holes.
Africans Divan van den Heever and Martin Maritz were each two-under through six
champion Louis Oosthuizen was one-under through six holes, as was 2007 SA Open
champion James Kingston and four-time winner on the Sunshine Tour in 2910, Jaco
champion Ernie Els was scheduled to tee off in the afternoon, and will now only
get his round away on Friday afternoon.