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It Wasn't Golfers Who Were Hot, It Was the Course That Was Cold

October 21, 1994| Associated Press

MARIANSKE LAZNE, Czech Republic — The scores appeared sensational: Sam Torrance and Gordon Brand Jr. shot 54s; Jamie Spence and Malcolm MacKenzie had opening-round 57s.

But competitors at the $750,000 Czech Open weren't playing that well. They were playing only 15 holes.

Heavy frost made three holes unplayable at the 6,753-yard, par-71 Marianske Lazne Golf Club course Thursday, so organizers decided to cut the course from 18 to 15 holes and make it a par 59--at least for the first day.

The start of the first European PGA tournament to be played in the Czech Republic was delayed by more than three hours before tournament organizers decided players would skip the 11th, 13th and 14th holes. Still, only 51 of the 102 starters were able to finish the first round before darkness halted play.

Brand, who had five birdies in a bogey-free round, said he wore three layers of clothing in the near-freezing conditions.

"It was a bit dodgy here and there, but it was better than sitting in the clubhouse," the Scotsman said.

Torrance, another Scot, found he was over-dressed.

"I wore a vest, a T-shirt, two cashmere sweaters and a waterproof jacket," he said. "But I had to take the jacket off in the afternoon because I had so much on and it was difficult to swing."

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