Date: November 07, 2008

Shanghai wash-out

Play on day two at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai was abandoned due to rain and a waterlogged course at the Sheshan International Golf Club. Following torrential overnight rain, the first tee-off time was continually pushed back throughout the day until play was abandoned just before 2pm local time. Several players had appeared on the driving range, while ground staff worked at clearing standing water from the fairways, as the rain briefly subsided. But the showers resumed, with the forecast for worsening conditions, and it was confirmed second-round play would begin tomorrow at 6.45am local time. The weekend forecast is significantly better, but the leading players are still expected to have to complete their third rounds on Sunday morning. Play will only be allowed to run over until Monday should the fourth round begin on Sunday. Sweden&aposs Henrik Stenson heads the leaderboard at the five million US dollar event on seven-under par, by one stroke from defending champion Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim and Australian Adam Scott. Northern Ireland&aposs Graeme McDowell was the only player to brave the conditions this morning and he spent over an hour on the driving range in a bid to tighten-up his game following an opening one-under-par 71 yesterday. “It is frustrating to come all the way out to Shanghai and have a course that is this well presented and a big purse to play for. You can do everything you want but you can&apost change the weather,” world No.33 McDowell told PA Sport. McDowell has enjoyed an extraordinary year as wins at the inaugural Ballantine&aposs Championship and The Barclays Scottish Open secured a Ryder Cup debut against the USA at Valhalla. Despite an eighth-place finish at last week&aposs season-ending Volvo Masters, which secured a career-high fifth-place finish on the European Tour Order of Merit, the 29-year-old McDowell is still seeking improvement with one eye on the new money-spinning Race to Dubai. He said: “I didn&apost hit it particularly well yesterday, I didn&apost hit it particularly well last week at Valderrama, but also I wanted to get something done for the day, feel like I done something and keep the work rate up.” “There were a few things I wanted to work on.”