Rain-hit SA Open reduced to 17-hole tournament

Heavy rain has forced organizers at the South African Open to

take a hole out of play for the marathon final day of the European

Tour event.

A downpour early Sunday left the green on the par-3 fourth

waterlogged and only 17 holes will be used in the final two rounds

at Durban Country Club, reducing the course to a par-69.

Four-time winner Ernie Els took a two-shot lead over Retief

Goosen going into the final day.

Rain had already delayed the 100th edition of the event.

The European Tour and South Africa’s co-sanctioning Sunshine

Tour said the decision was not unprecedented, pointing to two

occasions at the Dutch Open in the late 1960s when anti-apartheid

protesters had dug up a green and the event was played over 17