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Tournament cut to three rounds

The Ballantine’s Championship has been cut to three rounds after six hours of first round play at the $2.9 million European and Asian Tour event were lost to fog, organisers said on Friday.

Only 36 players were able to complete their first rounds on Thursday after fog descended on Jeju island, shrouding the Pinx Golf Club and severely restricting visibility.

More than a third of the field did not even begin play and, despite an early morning start on Friday to try and clear the backlog, tournament directors have made the decision to reduce the event to 54 holes and ensure a Sunday finish.

“After reviewing the amount of golf completed yesterday, it has become clear that the completion of 72 holes within the required time frame is not feasible,” tournament directors John Paramor and Jitti Tamprasert said in a statement.

“Therefore the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship will be decided over three rounds.”

The cut will be made after the second round is completed on Saturday with the top 65 and ties going through to the final round on Sunday.

Australian Marcus Fraser leads the field after a seven-under-par 65 with three-times major winner Ernie Els and American Anthony Kim, who both shot four-under-par 68s on Thursday, in contention.

It was not such a good day for U.S. PGA Championship winner and local favourite Yang Yong-eun, however, who was struggling after completing a round of 77 on Friday.



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