Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Rain and lightning added to the drama of the second round of the Joburg Open as the new European Tour suffered a nightmare start off the track.

Britain’s decision to impose a ban on flights from South Africa following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country forced a wave of late withdrawals and retirements as European golfers rushed home with the looming travel suspension.

Later Friday, organizers said they had reduced the event to 54 holes to help non-South African players, caddies and other tournament staff return to their home countries.

The weather turned out to be the drop after Britain’s overnight decision to ban flights from South Africa – a decision followed by several EU countries.

It hit the tournament, and the rest of the South African turn on the European Tour, hard.

About 14 golfers withdrew before the start of their second round, and a further seven withdrew as the game got underway, to reach flights out of the country to avoid having to be quarantined when they returned to Europe.

“I had three holes to finish in my first round, and when I came in, I turned on my phone and I got messages from everyone who asked me if I should go to the airport or stay and play. That was when I started. to take a closer look, ”Irish golfer Paul Dunne told RTE radio.

Paul Dunne was quick to hurry home from South Africa.
Paul Dunne was quick to hurry home from South Africa. Credit: Instagram

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