The European Tour will look to stage the Madeira Islands Open later in the year after it was cancelled due to bad weather on Sunday.

The tournament had already been reduced to 36 holes for the second year in succession, but torrential rain meant no play was possible in the second and final round at Santo da Serra.

Keith Waters, chief operating officer of the European Tour, said: "The Madeira Islands Open - Portugal - BPI is a hugely important event for The European Tour so it is disappointing for everyone concerned that we have been forced to cancel this week.

"We share a very strong relationship with the hosts and sponsors, so we are already in discussions with the club and the sponsors to reschedule the event for another week in this year's Race to Dubai schedule.

"We must now make every effort to make sure that the Madeira Islands Open takes place this year and that together we can show the world the true potential of this great event and this beautiful island."

Winds gusting up to 47 miles per hour meant no play had been possible on Thursday, while further strong winds on Friday caused a delay of almost two hours before rain ended play early.

Half of the field had yet to complete their rounds when play was abandoned for the day at 6pm and heavy rain which flooded the course caused further disruption on Saturday.

With yet more bad weather forecast for Sunday, the decision was taken to make it a 36-hole event, with the top 65 and ties due to play the final round in a shotgun start at 8am.

Denmark's JB Hansen held the clubhouse lead on four under par, one shot ahead of a group of eight players including England's Andrew Marshall and Scotland's Peter Whiteford, with the entire field separated by just six shots.

It is thought to be the first European Tour event to be cancelled due to bad weather since the Compaq European Grand Prix at Slaley Hall in 1998.

Tournament director Jose Maria Zamora said: "Unfortunately we had 60mm of rain overnight and throughout Sunday and the course became totally unplayable. That made it impossible to start and finish the second round today.

"That would have put us into Monday and we had already been issued a warning for very strong winds on Monday which would again have made the course unplayable.

"We have been very unfortunate with the weather this week but we are hoping to reschedule and show the true potential of the island."