LA QUINTA, Calif.—The second round of the five-round Bob Hope Classic didn’t even begin Thursday, as heavy rains forced the postponement of golf until Friday.
More than an inch of rain fell in the La Quinta area between the end of Wednesday’s first round and the scheduled start of the second round. Initially, the PGA Tour imposed a two-hour delay on the start of tee times, from 8:30 until 10:30 a.m.
However, the persistence of inclement weather forced the PGA Tour to hold everything.
“It’s a mess,” said Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competition. “I’ve been coming out here for years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
White said the Nicklaus Private course at PGA West is “under water” and that La Quinta Country Club is in horrid shape at particular points because the presence of homes lining both sides prevents water from being pumped.
Now, the challenge for players and the PGA Tour is completing the only 90-hole event on the schedule. The problem is that rain is still in the forecast for Thursday and scattered showers are supposed to linger well into Friday.
A Monday finish is not out of the question, White said.
“We have pretty much got our hands full right now until tomorrow morning,” he added.
Besides weather, two logistical issues make timing that much more important. Though all four courses in the tournament rotation are located within close proximity of each other, it still takes time to transport professionals and amateurs between courses. Plus, the pro-am format means tour pros aren’t playing the typical four-hour round — they can often stretch beyond five hours, meaning the chances of playing 36 holes in one day even with optimal weather are slim.
In order for this 90-hole event to be official, 72 holes must be completed. If only four rounds are played, the final round, composed of just professionals and taking place on the Palmer Private course at PGA West, would not occur.
Such a situation happened last year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where the final round amongst professionals only at Pebble Beach Golf Links did not happen because of continuously heavy rains. Dustin Johnson won the tournament after it was shortened to 54 holes.
Friday, the celebrity rotation is scheduled to play at La Quinta C.C., and if conditions permit they will then had to the Nicklaus course at PGA West.
Shane Bertsch will begin the second round as the leader after shooting a 10-under-par 62 Wednesday. The 39-year-old will play his second round at the Palmer course at PGA West.
For a complete schedule of tee times, visit the Bob Hope Classic website.
For a complete leaderboard, visit PGATour.com.
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