DURBAN, South Africa – Players will need a third day to complete the first round of the Nelson Mandela Championship after rain again disrupted the European Tour event's schedule.
After a seven-hour delay on Wednesday, only a little more than four hours' play was possible on Thursday before the Mount Edgecombe course became unplayable again because of a heavy downpour.
Englishman Daniel Brooks was still the clubhouse leader after an 8-under 62. Three Frenchmen were right behind, with Francois Camels second after a 63 while Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel were two shots off the lead.
South Africa's Oliver Bekker also moved to 6 under through 14 holes before players were called off again. More than 50 players were still to complete their first rounds.
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''You just keep your head down and grind. There's nothing you can do about it,'' Bekker said of the weather.
He made the biggest move in the short time the players were out on Thursday, making his sixth birdie on No. 14 to move within two shots of Brooks on the par-70 layout. Sweden's Joel Sjoholm and Zimbabwe's Ryan Cairns were tied for sixth after both carded 65s in their opening rounds.
Players will return to complete their first rounds at 6:00 a.m. local time on Friday, with the second round to be played directly after that.
The event is being played Wednesday through Saturday this year to recognize the state funeral for the late president.
An official memorial service for Mandela was held Tuesday at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, where Mandela made his last public appearance at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup. His body will lie in state from Wednesday through Friday in Pretoria. The official state funeral and burial at Qunu will be on Sunday.
The tournament honors Mandela's charity work through the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.