August 4, 2005

Opening round of International delayed due to rain

TORONTO (Reuters) - The opening round of golf's
International in Castle Rock, Colorado, was postponed on
Thursday due to heavy rain.

Poor weather had set in early in the morning and failed to
let up, finally forcing officials to reschedule first round
action for Friday at the Castle Rock Golf Club.

The delay is a setback for world number four Phil Mickelson
who is using the $5 million tournament as a final tune-up
before heading to Baltusrol, New Jersey next week for the U.S.
PGA championship.

The world's top two, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, are
avoiding the event having played their only competitive tune-up
ahead of the year's final major a week earlier at the Buick.

Before turning his full attention to the Baltusrol Golf
Club, Mickelson will try to bring his game into sharper focus
at the International, which will provide some unique

Played at altitude in the Colorado Rockies under modified
Stableford rules, the unique format and conditions make the
International a far from ideal warm-up for the year's final
major, which will be staged near sea-level not far from the
Jersey shores.

But the high risk-reward format is one at which Mickelson
has excelled.

The American has won the event twice and finished runner-up
twice, and can now earn a badly-needed jolt of confidence and
momentum heading to Baltusrol.