England’s Paul Waring holds a share of the lead going into the final round of the Joburg Open after continued poor weather in South Africa saw the tournament reduced to 54 holes.
Delays had already left the event behind schedule, and although the second round was completed yesterday, thunderstorms and heavy rain flooded the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington course before anybody could complete their third round, with the top 15 on the leaderboard still to tee off.
That forced officials to reduce the event to 54 holes, with tournament director David Williams telling the European Tour website: “The course is now completely waterlogged. 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 on to 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.”
Waring held a one-shot lead overnight but played the closing holes of his second round in one over par after a bogey on the 18th.
The 32-year-old, who is looking for his first European Tour victory after several years hampered by injury, sits on 11 under par alongside South Africa’s Darren Fichardt, who did not hit a shot yesterday having completed his second round on Friday. South African pair Dean Burmester and Jacques Kruyswijk are tied for third on 10 under.
Meanwhile, rain and unplayable course conditions also affected the $1.6m LPGA Thailand, with its unfinished second round postponed to yesterday.
Amy Yang of South Korea fired a 67 for a one-shot advantage over China’s Shanshan Feng and local hope Ariya Jutanugarn after the delayed halfway stage at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course.
The 2015 champion and world No.11 Yang had six birdies and a bogey on the seventh hole to head into the final rounds on 11-under 133. “I was hitting it pretty good again. I was hitting solid, near the pin, and making some putts out there,” said Yang who, like Jutanugarn, had to play 36 holes in the same day. “Tough part was staying cool on the course, especially [as] we have to play another 18.”
Jutanugarn, who shared the lead with Yang in the first round, shot an unblemished round of a 68 to be tied for second on 10 under.
“I’m happy with my tee shots and approach shots,” said Jutanugarn, looking for her first home win.