Day two also washed out in Durban

European Tour News

The Nelson Mandela Championship just cannot get going with the first round again washed out following heavy rain in Durban.

The Nelson Mandela Championship just cannot get going with the first round again washed out following heavy rain in Durban.

An overnight thunderstorm flooded Royal Durban Golf Club and forced officials to abandon play early on Friday morning, but it wasn’t

Although there was no rain coming down at the 6.30am tee-off time, the previous evening’s showers, coupled with excessive rain over recent weeks, left parts of the course unplayable.

European Tour Tournament Director Mikael Eriksson said: “The further overnight rain – around 30mm – and a huge thunderstorm has obviously set us back by a long way now. Every fairway is almost completely under water now and there is no chance we will be able to play at all on Friday.”

He added: “The plan now is to try to start the first round at 0630 on Saturday morning; we are hiring more pumps and more people to try to clear the water off the golf course as fast as possible.”

The Sunshine Tour’s climatologist Evert Scholtz warns that while things were clear in the morning, more rain could fall in the afternoon.

“The overnight storm started with unstable hot air over the interior of the country, which built into a storm over the Drakensburg mountain range and then moved to the coast,” he said.

“Adding to the intensity of the storm was a flow of hot, high-energy air in the middle layers of the atmosphere, which descends from the tropics and can cause intense storms upon reaching the coast.

“Today is fairly clear, but it is cloudy over the interior, so there is the chance of more rain this afternoon.”

Thursday’s first round was cancelled due to the heavy rain while the Pro-Am event was cancelled on Wednesday.

With the Alfred Dunhill Championship also taking place in South Africa, officials have the option of extending into Monday.

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