SHANGHAI, China (AP) Heavy rain wiped out all play Friday at the HSBC Champions tournament, forcing organizers to find a way to squeeze in 54 holes over Saturday and Sunday to complete the event.
Henrik Stenson led the damp first round Thursday with a 7-under 65. Four well-known players were a stroke behind: Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson.
Officials for the tournament, which includes 10 of the world’s top 20 players, said they hoped to complete 72 holes by Sunday, but some play may be required on Monday to finish the tournament. Playing only 54 holes is also possible in the $5 million event at the Sheshan Golf Club.
“If we have any further delays … there is a strong possibility that play in the fourth round may need to be completed on Monday morning, and this has been provisionally agreed with all parties within the tournament,” said David Probyn, European Tour tournament director.
Play was to begin Friday at 8:40 a.m. local time, but persistent rain forced organizers to keep pushing back the possible start for the 78-player field. Organizers canceled all play at 2 p.m. with play set to resume at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Weather forecasts indicate more rain on Saturday with clearing skies on Sunday.
The HSBC event is being called “Asia’s major” by event organizers. There are suggestions it should become a World Golf Championships event. However that may require scheduling earlier in the year when there is less rain.