Rain and wreckers mar first day of KLM Open

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Waterlogged greens, parking chaos and vandalism on the course have blighted the opening day of the KLM Open.

**Source: [*Some of the world’s top golfers, including Open champion Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood, are in Hilversum for Holland’s leading pro tournament, chasing a top prize of €300,000.

Several days of heavy rain have left a section of the car park under water and vandals broke into the course on Wednesday night, damaging the greens on holes 4, 5, 6 and 9.

“It’s a huge disappointment for everybody who has spent months getting the course in the best possible condition,” tournament director Daan Slooter said. “Thanks to the skill of the greenkeepers we have been able to repair the damage so that the tournament can proceed as normal.”

With 10,000 spectators expected over the four days of the tournament, organizers have laid on a fleet of buses to Station Hilversum Sportpark for people unable to park their cars at the golf club.

In the event the start of the competition was delayed by just 45 minutes, only for more heavy rain to render some of the greens unplayable.

“We hope to be able to resume later today, but the greens are soaked through,” a spokesman for the tournament said. “They need to dry out and that can take several hours.”

Englishman Robert Dinwiddie was one of the few to escape the downpour, completing the course in a four under par 66 to take the early lead. http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2698/Sport/article/detail/2897165/2011/09/08/Slagregens-zetten-greens-KLM-Open-onder-water.dhtml]**
Photo by [*De Volkskrant: Slagregens zetten greens KLM Open onder water http://www.flickr.com/people/sierag/]

Reinier Sierag

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