By Tony Jimenez
BELEK, Turkey (Reuters) - Torrential rain and thunderstorms caused a three-hour delay to the start of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya on Thursday.
The bad weather started overnight and continued into mid-morning, leaving the course saturated at the penultimate European Tour event of the season.
The first shots of the tournament were finally struck at 1205 local time (1005 GMT), with the opening matches teeing off simultaneously in 'shotgun' format at the first and 10th holes.
World number one Tiger Woods, U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and money-list leader Henrik Stenson, featuring in the last three-ball of the day to start from the first hole, now launch their campaigns at 1405.
Daylight hours are short in Turkey at this time of year and with darkness falling at around 1700, Woods, Rose and Stenson will be unable to complete their rounds on Thursday.
(Editing by Patrick Johnston)