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Ken Borland

Persistent rain leaves NGC organisers under pressure as leaders could only complete 3 holes

Posted on February 10, 2023 by Ken

Leaders Ryan Fox and Luke Donald were only able to complete three holes on the second day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Friday as thundershowers and persistent rain washed out play, leaving tournament organisers under pressure to finish the second and third rounds on Saturday.

Overnight leader Fox birdied the par-five second hole, but then immediately gave the stroke back with a bogey-five on the third to sit at eight-under-par when play was suspended at 11.49am due to lightning. Steady rain had already been falling for some time and it never relented, leading to the course being waterlogged.

Donald had joined Fox on eight-under as he birdied the second hole and parred the first and third holes.

“We would need two hours of no rain just to start to get the course reasonably playable,” tournament director David Williams told media after play was called off for the day at 3.30pm.

“If we could have got a couple more hours in today then that would have been great, but we felt it was better to make a decision. We will start again at 7.45am on Saturday and the third round will be played in the same groups.

“The golfers will get a half-an-hour break after the second round and then go again. That way we can save two hours, maybe more, with the forecast not being marvellous for Saturday either.

“Sunday morning is also not so good, so we need to get as much completed on Saturday as we can. Hopefully we get the third round done, but there’s a lot in the air at the moment,” Williams said.

Perhaps the golfer most frustrated by the delay was Englishman Ross Fisher, who had a great round going and had climbed into a tie for third place on six-under-par with Rasmus Hojgaard and Guido Migliozzi.

Fisher birdied the first two holes and then the ninth, and had just eagled the par-five 10th when the golfers were pulled off the course. Being five-under through 10 holes has lifted the five-time DP World Tour winner to just two strokes off the lead.

Hojgaard was also going well on three-under through six holes.

Veteran Richard Sterne is the leading South African, birdieing the first two holes to go to three-under.

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