A massive electrical storm that yielded almost 30mm of rain overnight has forced further postponement to the first round of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa at Royal Durban.
In the two months leading up to the opening event of The 2013 Race to Dubai, Durban has had the normal annual rainfall and further heavy precipitation in the early hours of Friday morning has caused widespread flooding across the course.
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.
“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.”
Of the thunderstorm, which began shortly after midnight on Friday morning, Sunshine Tour meteorologist Evert Scholtz said: “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.
"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 some more rain this afternoon."
The first round is now scheduled to start on Saturday morning with tee times as originally published.