Mandela event called off

2012-12-06 11:27

Johannesburg - Organisers postponed the first round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban on Thursday after rains soaked the course at the Royal Durban Golf Club.

"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," European Tour director Mikael Eriksson told Sky Sports.

The one-million-euro tournament - the first of the European Tour season - had been due to tee off at the par-72, 6 115-metre course. It is co-presented by South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

"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," Eriksson added.

The fairways and rough were soaked, though the tees and greens didn't have water problems.

Round one will tee off 06:30 local time on Friday. The second round will be played on Saturday and organisers hope to fit in 72 holes by Sunday.

The tournament is named after South Africa's first black president and Nobel Peace Laureate Nelson Mandela, who spent almost three decades in prison for his fight against the apartheid government.