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Rain Delays South African Open Opening Round – SportsUntapped.com
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Added December 16th, 2010 by Chalk

Rain Delays South African Open Opening Round
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The South African Open had barely gotten started before rain caused the first day to be suspended just before 9 a.m. local time. Only six golfers had played nine holes, and half the field hadn’t even teed off. South Africa’s Retief Goosen (World No. 17) and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen (No. 137) were among five golfers sharing the early lead at -2. The tournament may be cut to 54 holes.

Play will resume at 8:30 am local time on Friday to give extra time for the course to drain, and only the first round will be completed. The plan is to get the second round in on Saturday, then play the remaining 36 holes on Sunday if the weather is good, or cut the tournament short to 54 holes if the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Tournament director Gary Todd said a Monday finish is very unlikely:

Logistically it’s quite tricky for the European guys to find flights this close to Christmas. It’s a very busy time and we’ll need to weigh up all those options. …  The key is to get 36 holes in, which constitutes a tournament. So we’ll finish round one on Friday and then start round two on Saturday. So we’ll get round two done and make a cut. Then we’ll see how things pan out and what the weather looks like. We’ve had in excess of three inches of rain, that’s a massive amount.

Goosen was -2 through four holes, while Olesen, who tied for second at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, got eight holes in for his -2. South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (No. 25), who missed the cut last week, was -1 through six holes and among a dozen golfers one shot off the lead.

Favorites Tim Clark (No. 27) and Ernie Els (No. 12) never teed off, nor did Charl Schwartzel (No. 37), top-ranked American Vaughn Taylor (No. 104), top-ranked European Damien McGrane (No. 129), or last week’s winner and Race to Dubai points leader Pablo Martin (No. 182).

 
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