First round of Nelson Mandela Championship suspended again after more heavy rain

Last Updated: 12/12/13 1:07pm

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Rain once again interrupted play at the Nelson Mandela Championship on Thursday

Rain once again interrupted play at the Nelson Mandela Championship on Thursday

Sky Bet

The first round of the weather-hit Nelson Mandela Championship was suspended for a second time on Thursday.

Tournament organisers had been hoping to catch up after a delayed start on Wednesday but were frustrated by a waterlogged course at the Mount Edgecombe Country Club in Durban and, after more heavy deluges of rain, called an early end to the day's proceedings.

Of the players who did manage to get some play in it was Oliver Bekker who made the biggest move, the South African advancing to six-under through 14 holes to join Frenchmen Edouard Dubois and Romain Wattel in third place after their 64s on day one.

European Tour winner Branden Grace and Darren Fichardt were also going well at four-under when the players came off.

First round leaderboard

(GB & Ire unless stated)
-8 D Brooks (18 holes)
-7 F Calmels (Fra) (18)
-6 E Dubois (Fra) (18)
-6 R Wattel (Fra) (18)
-6 O Bekker (SA) (14)

Click here for collated scores

They remained adrift of leader Daniel Brooks, however, the Englishman lighting up day one with a flawless eight-under-par 62 that put him one shot clear of Frenchman Francois Calmels.

Grind

Bekker told the European Tour's website: "You just keep your head down and grind. There's nothing you can do about (the weather).

"If you can get past the mental battle and accept that it's the same for everyone, then I think you've already beaten half of the field.

"I'm actually happy with the delay, to be honest. The weather is brutal out there at the moment and I've got a couple of tough holes coming up.

"The forecast for (Friday) and Saturday is pretty good, so if it clears up we could get a few good rounds in."

Defending champion Scott Jamieson of Scotland was two over after 13 holes of a four-day tournament that was brought forward by a day to a Wednesday start, to avoid a clash with Sunday's funeral of former South African president Mandela.

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