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European Golf Tour

Rain postpones Nelson Mandela Championship's start

Durban, South Africa (Sports Network) - The start of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship was postponed Thursday due to continuing rain and waterlogged course conditions.

With the host Royal Durban course partially flooded, organizers decided to push back the first round until Friday.

"The fairways are very waterlogged and the course hasn't improved as much as we hoped it would overnight," European Tour tournament director Mikael Eriksson told Sky Sports.

"The forecast wasn't bad at all for today and we hoped the course might have dried out a little bit more but it hasn't actually," Eriksson continued. "We tried early this morning to shorten the golf course -- made a couple of par fours into par threes, one par five into a par three as well -- in an attempt to start, but with the additional rain as we were trying to restart it didn't work."

Despite the delayed start, organizers still expect a full 72 holes to be played.

This is the first tournament of the 2012-13 European Tour season. Branden Grace, who won four European Tour events in 2012, headlines the field.

12/06 09:12:21 ET