Heavy rain in the afternoon forced the US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open to be reduced to 54 holes after the suspension of the third round, with Sweden’s Daniel Chopra in the lead after playing just one hole.
The weather-plagued tournament has seen a number of suspensions since the first round, forcing 70 players to complete their second rounds this morning. The third round teed-off at 12.45pm but play was cut short yet again when a heavy downpour hit Horizon Hills at 3 pm with the leaders having competed just one hole.
Although the rain eventually subsided, tournament officials decided to cut down the tournament to call off play for the day. This is the second consecutive week that a joint European Tour and Asian Tour event has been cut down to 54 holes due to weather woes, following the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club last week.
Tournament director Jose-Maria Zamora explained the decision to cut short the tournament: “The course became unplayable after the heavy rainfall we received this afternoon, with standing water on a number of the fairways. With that in mind, we had no choice but to suspend play for the day and, due to the disruptions we already suffered, we have also taken the decision to reduce the tournament to 54 holes. We are confident the course will be ready for the resumption of the third and final round at 7.20am on Sunday morning.”
When play was stopped, Sweden’s Daniel Chopra was in the lead on 13-under-par after one hole of his third round. Three players were on 11-under-par – defending champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland (after one hole), England’s James Morrison (after one hole) and France’s Gregory Bourdy (after one hole).
“Of course I would have loved to play. I hit a couple of good shots starting off the (third) round and then the rain came. It kills a bit of momentum,” said Chopra.
“That changes the way you think. It is going to be more like a shootout because there are a number of people still in it with a chance to have a good round. Hopefully the weather will hold out!”
Leading Scores (numbers in brackets indicate number of holes played in third round)
-13 Daniel CHOPRA 64-65 (1)
-11 Gregory BOURDY 64-67 (1), Padraig HARRINGTON 64-67 (1), James MORRISON 66-65 (1)
-9 Joost LUITEN 63-70 (1), Darren BECK 70-65 (3), Jose Manuel LARA 67-67 (2), Brett RUMFORD 71-64 (3), Soren HANSEN 68-67 (2)
-8 Soren KJELDSEN 71-64 (2), SIDDIKUR 67-67 (1), Christian NILSSON 67-67 (2), Rhys DAVIES 70-65 (3), Marcus FRASER 64-70 (2), Michael JONZON 69-65 (2)