Smoltz struggles after hours of rain delays in GeorgiaJohn Smoltz was strong out of the gates on Thursday but had some trouble after a series of delays.April 28, 2011
MORE: Smoltz's scorecard
VALDOSTA, Ga. -- If it were a baseball game, it would have been a washout and the game wouldn't have counted. Instead, John Smoltz suffered through bad weather and some difficult shots in a rain-soaked Thursday at the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company.
The former Major Leaguer, who's in the field on a sponsor exemption and started on the back nine, was 1 under through his first three holes before his game went south.
Smoltz bogeyed the par-5 13th and par-4 14 holes then doubled the par-4 15th. He added another bogey on the par-4 16th before making a par on the par-3 17th.
That was all the golf Smoltz played, however, with weather a problem most of the day. Play was suspended for a total of nearly nine hours because of the weather.
"I thought I was going to be fine out there today but I put myself in a couple of tough spots with it being so wet and mucky I fell victim to that, it can snowball," Smoltz said. "I had a rough four-hole stretch but there's plenty of golf left. Hopefully I can turn it into a 2 or 3 over round. I look at [Friday] as a fresh start. And this whole thing is a learning experience so I can't forget that."
Through eight holes, Smoltz is 4 over, well back of leader Nicolas Thompson, who is 5 under.
Smoltz hit 50 percent of his fairways but only 25 percent of his greens in regulation. He also struggled at times with the putter, taking 12 putts and averaging two putts per green in regulation.