Bad weather means shotgun start on European Tour


Welcome to the European Tour ... please take cart 12B.

With heavy thunderstorms in the forecast, the third round of the Portugal Masters will more closely resemble a nine-and-dine at your local club. To get in as much golf as possible around the storms, tournament officials have gone a step beyond calling for a two-tee split - they opted for a full shotgun start:

The forecast for Saturday at Oceanico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura is indeed poor. The prognosis at includes a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms, with rain picking up in earnest around 11 a.m. and peaking in intensity by mid-afternoon. 

England's Andy Sullivan has shot consecutive rounds of 7-under 64 to take the lead, but the group of contenders still within reach includes Bernd Wiesberger, Tommy Fleetwood and Thomas Bjorn.

This event is no stranger to foul weather. Last year, Alexander Levy won when the tournament was shortened to 36 holes because the third round - already postponed to Sunday - never got off the ground.

This is the first time since the final round of the 1994 Czech Open that the European Tour has implemented a shotgun start.