It's still early morning in Hawaii, but the winds that have caused such a disruption in the schedule of the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the first three days may be subsiding, at least according to Weather.com's forecast for Monday.
Monday's hourly forecast by Weather.com calls for winds out of the east at no more than 16 mph, with no mention of the wind gusts that have been blowing balls off putting surfaces at Kapalua's Plantation Course.
If that forecast holds, the 30 players in the field may be able to get in 36 holes on Monday. They are scheduled to play 18 more on Tuesday to complete the shortened 54-hole tournament.
Stay tuned for more weather updates on the TOUR Report throughout the day.
After more delays, play was again wiped out Sunday at Kapalua. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
If at first you don't succeed, try, try (and try) again.
That's been the mantra on a windswept Maui, site of the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions -- which has actually yet to officially open because of high winds that have wreaked havoc on the otherwise serene Kapalua Plantation.
The first round was wiped off the books on Friday with 40-plus mph winds bending flagsticks and sending golf balls off putting surfaces. A shot wasn't even struck on Saturday after more of the same, while Sunday featured a little play (just over an hour) and a lot of delay (four hours).
All of this will lend itself to anything but a manic Monday. Here's where we stand as officials try to get the first event of the season in the books:
1) The first round will re-start, from scratch, at 7:10 a.m. local time, 12:10 p.m. ET on Monday with players going off both tees and playing (hopefully) 36 holes.
2) Tuesday, players will play 18 holes, bringing the total to 54 holes and thus making the event official with full FedExCup points, money, Official World Golf Ranking points and the winner getting into the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The last 54-hole event on TOUR was the 2011 Barclays, won by Dustin Johnson.
3) If only 36 holes are completed, the win would be unofficial with official FedExCup points, money and 75 percent of the total Official World Golf Ranking points. The winner would also not get into the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The last 36-hole event on TOUR was the 2005 Northern Trust Open, won by Adam Scott.
4) Television and SiriusXM: Golf Channel will broadcast Monday’s play from 4-11 p.m. ET, which is three hours more than its originally scheduled window of 4-8 p.m. SiriusXM will broadcast play from 5-11 p.m. ET.
5) Logistics: Gates will open for spectators at 6:45 a.m. local time on Monday. Shuttles will still operate from Honua Kai resort starting at 6:30 am. Tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday will be honored as grounds tickets on any day throughout the rest of the week. Fans can bring their Friday, Saturday or Sunday ticket to the gate on any day and exchange for a daily grounds ticket.
6) The last time the Hyundai Tournament of Champions was shortened to 54 holes: 1997 when the event was played at LaCosta.
The forecast for Monday is "borderline" with the TOUR's meteorologist calling for winds in the 25-30 mph range. If that holds, they can play.
"It's the gusts that creep up above 40 that have knocked us out," said the TOUR's Chief of Operations, Andy Pazder, noting the 48-mph gusts right before play was called for good on Sunday. "Somewhere in the low 40s is what puts us out of business."
That's what happened on Sunday, whether it was Matt Kuchar's ball being knocked off the tee on No. 10, Ben Curtis' being blown off the green on No. 11, or any number of players seeing theirs oscillate when they were standing over it.
"I think it's important to make sure the golf is fair," Keegan Bradley said. "On the greens sometimes, the ball is not staying still and that's when it gets a little dicey. You don't want to see somebody get an unlucky gust and the ball roll off the green or something like that."
And if Mother Nature continues to not cooperate?
Joked Pazder: "Can we save that question for (Monday)?"
Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson lean into the wind to keep their balance Sunday at Kapalua.
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Instead of chasing birdies, players spent a good deal of time chasing their caps on Sunday. It was also impossible to keep a cap on during the 40-mph gusts. Rickie Fowler showed remarkable agility tracking down Jason Dufner's hat. Fowler looked like a shortstop taking the correct line to intercept the wondering cap.
Green Speed: In an attempt to slow down the greens, the putting surfaces were cut late on Saturday as opposed to early Sunday morning. The strategy worked as the greens were putting about a foot slower than they had been on Friday. Unfortunately, even with the longer grass on the greens, golf balls were still affected by the high winds and did not always hold their original positions.
Bunkers: Spectators had to be very careful while walking past bunkers near the gallery ropes. A gust of wind would loft a sheet of sand out of the bunker and onto the spectators. The sand-blasted golf fans shrieked in surprise as the tiny particles of dirt dug into any exposed areas of skin.
Delayed start: Play was further delayed on the 10th tee when Matt Kuchar could not get his ball to stay on the tee. The wind kept knocking the ball off the wooden peg. He finally timed his swing to hit the ball in between wind gusts. Webb Simpson's ball did not blow off the tee but continually oscillated while remaining on the peg. He then asked a rules official if he could swing while the ball wobbled or if that would be a penalty for striking a moving ball. The answer: Play away, please.
Attitude: Composure has always been necessary in golf but a good attitude is crucial during difficult conditions. When a player's game goes sideways a bad attitude frequently follows out of frustration. Jonas Blixt tried to turn a negative into positive. He was 134th in greens in regulation during 2012 but second in strokes gained-putting. Blixt says severe wind plays into his game because everyone is missing greens in the difficult conditions and he has a great short game. I don’t know if that theory is correct but I do know it's a great attitude.
Practice: Players were quick to head to the driving range when play was canceled on Saturday; by Sunday few were anxious to hit more balls. Brandt Snedeker said it did him little good to practice in such windy conditions. Some players talked about going to another part of the island where winds were not as severe to get in some practice.
Forecast: Meteorologists say conditions will slightly improve over the next 48 hours. Winds are expected to be in the 25-mph range with gusts in the 30s. There were peak gusts that reached 48 mph on Sunday. The extended forecast calls for continued wind and increased chances of rain as the PGA TOUR eventually ventures to the Sony Open on Oahu.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Wind once again wiped out play in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
"We tried," PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competition Slugger White said.
Mother Nature wouldn't cooperate, however. With winds gusting near 50 mph, golf balls wouldn't stay on greens or on tees.
As a result, the slate will be wiped clean and the first round will be re-started on Monday with players going off both tees beginning at 12:10 p.m. ET.
Officials hope to get in 36 holes on Monday and 18 more on Tuesday for the event to be official. The last Tuesday finish on the PGA TOUR came in 2006 at the Booz Allen Classic.
Six players had yet to tee off when the horn sounded on Sunday.
After a four-hour delay to begin the day, players teed off on the windblown Maui course. It didn't take long for the conditions to wreak havoc.
Matt Kuchar watched as his ball got blown off the tee on No. 10.
Ben Curtis saw his ball blow off the green on No. 11 en route to a double bogey. He later added a triple bogey.
Not long after, play was stopped for good and scores discarded for a second time this week. High winds also wiped out Friday's originally scheduled opening round.
"We were OK for 30-45 minutes, then the bottom fell out," White said. "It's unfortunate. It started off bad and got worse."
With high winds blowing golf balls off the greens at Kapalua, play was again halted in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions with the horn sounding at 12:20 p.m. local time.
"We were on the edge starting out," PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competition Slugger White said. "For 30-40 minutes we were still on the edge, then we couldn't keep balls on the greens.
"You just can't play in it. You can hardly walk in it, much less play golf."
White added that players will be kept at the course -- for now -- as officials determine whether to send players back out today.
Wind gusts were near 50 mph when play was stopped.
"When a ball can't stay on the green you just can't play," said Matt Kuchar, whose ball was blown off the tee on th 10th hole. "(That's) never happened before. It was maybe a sign of what was to come."
Kuchar was hardly the only one affected.
Ben Curtis watched as his ball was blown off the green on th 11th hole. He went on to make double bogey and latr followed with a triple bogey.
"Nothing like this," Curtis said. "I had to take my hat off just to putt. Hopefully we can get some calmer weather tomorrow and get going."
Jason Dufner at 1 under through five holes was the lone player under par when play was called.
They're playing golf again at Kapalua -- for now.
When Matt Kuchar teed off on the 10th hole, the high winds knocked his ball off the tee. When he finally did hit, Kuchar was left with 97 yards on his approach. He hit 8-iron.
On the first hole, neither Rickie Fowler nor Jason Dufner reached the green in regulation. Both made bogey.
"It's a little better...very little," said PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competition Slugger White. "But we're going to try to go. If we have to stop we have to stop."
The plan is to play 18 holes on Sunday with a 36-hole finish on Monday.
“It is still very windy, but it is a lot better weather today because it isn’t raining out there," said PGA TOUR rules official Jon Brendle. "Getting in 18 today will be huge and then we can play 36 tomorrow to get in 54 holes and not have to bring Tuesday into play. This is a big help to try and get this done today.”
After three windswept days in Maui, play is set to begin at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The first round will start at 4:10 p.m. ET with players going off both the first and 10th holes.
The season was originally scheduled to begin on Friday, but high winds forced the cancelation of play before six players in the 30-man field had even teed off. As a result, the entire day was scrapped.
Conditions were again unplayable on Saturday, wiping out play for a second straight day.
With high winds still bearing down on th island on Sunday, the start of play was delayed 4 hours before officials made the decision that conditions were good enough to play in -- just barely.
"We've slowed the greens down to a point where a ball will come to rest," PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competition Slugger White said. "That helps tremendously.
"We'll talk to the players and let them know we might have some balls moving out here, but we'll just have to deal with it."
As in the opening round, Rickie Fowler and Jason Dufner will be the first group off.
Play has yet to begin at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where wind has pounded Kapalua the last three days.
Here's a look at a few images from Sunday in Maui, including a look at what players do during a delay.
Keegan Bradley, Jonas Blixt, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson watch th Colts-Raves playoff game while waiting out the delay at Kapalua. (Chris Reimer/PGA TOUR)
High winds bend the flag on the 11th hole Sunday at Kapalua. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
With high winds wreaking havoc at Kapalua, delays continued Sunday morning. (Petersen/Getty Images)