Heavy rain forces suspension at Australian PGA

Published Dec. 12, 2010 4:33 a.m. EST

Heavy rain forced a suspension in play during the final round of the Australian PGA Championship on Sunday, with Peter Senior holding a one-stroke lead after nine holes.

The course was hit by 50 millimeters (2 inches) of rain overnight, and players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls on the fairways.

Officials finally called off play after the greens became flooded and the fairways unplayable.

American Bobby Gates, the third-round leader by a stroke, bogeyed two holes in a row to fall out of the lead and was level in second with Australian Peter Fowler after nine holes.


''I've never played where it's gotten to this point before, but I understand they want to try to get it in,'' Gates said during the rain delay. ''The greens are a little tricky, some faster than others, but it's just another challenge.''

Senior said the last three holes that he and Gates played were extremely difficult, and ''the 10th tee was actually underwater when we got there.''

Andrew Langford-Jones, director of tournaments for the PGA of Australia, said the course has received 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in the past 10 days.

''We're waiting for a rain front to pass over, hopefully it will move out to sea,'' he said, adding that they hoped to complete final Sunday but would go to a Monday finish if needed.