Continued heavy rain forces Joburg Open to shorten to 54 holes

The Joburg Open will be completed over 54 holes after more bad weather forced play to be halted on Saturday. After play was suspended due to fading light on Friday evening, a large number of players were up early to complete their second rounds on Saturday morning, with Paul Waring and Darren Fichardt tied at the top after 36 holes.

Thunder and lightning arrived in the early afternoon and play was suspended. Greens staff said there had been over 200 mm of rain during the week and Saturday’s storm had unloaded 35mm more within the first hour of it striking.

Tournament director David Williams said: “We’ve suspended play for the day because the course is now completely waterlogged. We were hoping to maybe get out within an hour or so but now there’s no chance of that. We’re going to restart round three – which will also now be the final round – at 07.00 tomorrow morning.

“The forecast for tomorrow is pretty good. I think we’ll just have to wait and see how much damage is done today because at the moment it’s coming down very hard and obviously it’s coming down onto an already saturated course. So we’ll just keep our fingers crossed that we have a reasonably good evening, that we can restart tomorrow and get finished over three rounds. It is frustrating and it’s never great when there’s a lot of waiting around.

Waring and Fichardt are both at -11, the Englishman adding a 67 to his first-round 65, the South African Fichardt recording a pair of 66s. Defending champion Haydn Porteous is two shots back after a pair of 67s across the two courses at the at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Amongst those to miss the cut were former Major winners Y.E.Yang and Darren Clarke.

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