Published: Sun, December 01, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Besseling enjoys one-shot lead at Leopard Creek

Besseling enjoys one-shot lead at Leopard Creek

The decision was taken after consultation with the players, chief executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley and tournament host Johann Rupert, and was unanimously agreed upon in light of the excessive heat forecast for Leopard Creek this week, with temperatures forecast to reach as high as 40°C.

Charl Schwartzel (L) watches fellow South African Christian Bezuidenhout putt in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club Thursday. The PGA Tour brought in the same policy this year.

Ernie Els, the four-time major victor, said it was "common sense" to allow shorts this week and hoped that this would not be the last time in a tournament.

Jonathan Caldwell is best of the Irish following a two-over 74, while Cormac Sharvin, who only secured his European Tour card earlier this month had a round to forget, shooting an eight over 80.

"We thought it was a good move in this situation", said Tournament Director of the European Tour, David Williams.

"The temperatures will increase as the week goes on..." Female players on the LPGA Tour, however, are allowed to wear shorts, skorts or skirts. At the time, Tiger Woods said the golfers play "in some of the hottest climates on the planet" and called for it to be extended beyond just practise rounds.

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Rory McIlroy said: "It makes the fellows quite a bit extra tickled". A lot of players were concerned about it.

"It is going to get close to 40 degrees [Celsius] here and it is the right thing to do".

While Thomas Bjorn, Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup captain, said: "Golf has been moving in this direction and because of the extreme heat we need to make it as comfortable for the players as we can. I don't think there's anything wrong with professional golfers showing the lower half of their leg".

"The game has moved on, golf fashion has moved on, and even the weather has changed".

When the U.S. PGA Tour announced in February it was allowing shorts for practice and pro-ams, it said it noted the opinions of leading players.

The temporary dress code change, giving players a choice of pants or shorts for the event in South Africa, was agreed as temperatures soared to 39 degrees celsius (102.2 fahrenheit).

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