Tiger Woods co-leads at weather-delayed ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP
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INZAI, JAPAN - OCTOBER 24: The tournament flag waves on the 7th green during the first round of the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 24, 2019 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
The second round of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP has been postponed due to expected heavy rains in Chiba, Japan.
Officials made the decision before the round began due to forecasts of heavy rain throughout Friday, which is estimated to be as much as five inches over the next 24 hours around Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club.
At this stage, the plan is to start the second round on Saturday morning between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m. ET Friday).
“The golf course has already taken on 4/10s of an inch of rain, so it has actually reached the point of saturation and it's become unplayable,” Vice President of Rules and Competitions Gary Young said.
“With more rain in the forecast and three to five inches of rain for the day, we thought the right decision was to call play for the day.”
Officials added they intend to roll right into the third round on Saturday ,with players in the same threesomes off two tees. Players will start at the tee they did for the first round and will play until darkness.
“In our planning, that should leave us with approximately two hours of golf to complete on Sunday morning,” Young added.
“We will regroup for Round 4 and begin Round 4, if everything goes as scheduled, approximately 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. That is the window that we anticipate right now for tee times.
“That should have us completing play somewhere around 4:00 p.m. and leave us a bit of room to have enough time if possible for a playoff. We still feel very confident that we'll be able to complete four rounds of golf by Sunday.”
But according to PGA TOUR meteorologist Stewart Williams, rain could return Sunday, forcing a possible Monday finish.
“If we're not able to complete play by Sunday, we will go into Monday,” Young confirmed.
“We do have rain predicted for Sunday, but what is forecasted would not be enough for us to stop play based on what the meteorologist is telling us.”
Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland share the first round lead at 6 under, with local favorite Hideki Matsuyama just a shot behind.
After opening with three straight bogeys, the 81-time PGA TOUR winning Woods recorded nine birdies over the final 15 holes to take the first round lead for the first time since the 2018 TOUR Championship.
Woods is attempting to join Sam Snead with a record 82 wins on the PGA TOUR. He has converted 15 of 30 18-hole leads in his career.
The 43-year-old is in his first event since having knee surgery in August and now faces the prospect of long days with extra holes over the weekend – a fact he was already preparing himself for after the opening round.
“It’s going to be sloppy and tough for us… and it’s going to be a grind on the weekend,” Woods said.
“Hopefully I can keep it going.”
Woodland has held an 18-hole lead/co-lead three times previously and is yet to convert it to victory. He matched Woods in the opening round as he looks to fight his way into the U.S. Presidents Cup team that will be captained by Woods.
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