Organisers give update on Hero Dubai Desert Classic opening round

There will be no play at Emirates Golf Club before at least 1pm on Thursday with the start suspended due to heavy overnight rain in the city

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There will be no play at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic before at least 1pm, according to the tournament organisers.

The opening round has been suspended due to heavy overnight rain in the city.

A DP World Tour statement early on Thursday described the course as inaccessible.

Staff at Emirates Golf Club are attempting to make the course playable. Many areas had been affected by the heavy overnight rain, which included a thunderstorm in the early hours of the morning.

The site was closed to the public, and players also stayed away from both the range and the course.

At the time of the scheduled Round 1 start of 7.10am, the forecast showers were only light and brief, but the effect the of the previous hours was still significant.

Outside of the ropes, many areas of the course were impassable.

Inside the playing area, there were vast areas of standing water. Most notably, there was a substantial puddle beside the first fairway, while a pond appeared to have emerged just before the fairway on the par-4 17th.

Staff were also busy attempting to rectify damage to a bunker on the right-hand side of the first fairway, some of which had caved in because of the rain.

When the organisers provided their latest update, just after 10am, the clouds had lifted and blue sky was visible.

Updated: January 26, 2023, 7:23 AM