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Vandalism to four greens causes delayed start at KLM Open

September 9, 2011

By Meike Mol

HILVERSUM – The commencement of the KLM Open golf tournament Thursday was delayed by 45 minutes due to vandalized greens and bad weather conditions.

A total of four greens were found to be severely damaged.

“This is a big disappointment for all the people who have been working on the greens for months,” tournament director Daan Slooter said.  “It is only due to the expertise of our green keepers that we were able to restore the greens in such a way that the tournament can continue.”

The restoration of the greens was complicated further by bad weather conditions in the rain-doused Dutch city of Hilversum.

Heavy rainfall during the last month led to floods of both the greens and the tournament’s public parking. The Open can now only be reached by public transport.

The KLM Open is one of the largest tournaments on the renowned European Golf Tour.

About 45.000 spectators are expected to visit the tournament this year.

Big names including Englishman Lee Westwood, defending champion Martin Kaymer of Germany and World No. 4 Rory McIlroy will participate in this year’s competition.

Meanwhile, play was halted after heavy rainfall caused large puddles on the greens.

The tournament was suspended around 13:30 hrs with Robert Dinwiddie enjoying a -4 lead at 18 holes.

“To me the bad weather was an advantage,’’ Dinwiddie said.  “I was hardly thinking of my technique and only hit towards the green.”

Simon Dyson and Marcel Siem were tied at -4.

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