Qualifier for Hoag Classic reduced to nine holes due to fire near the course
Four qualify based on their opening nine hole scores
March 03, 2020
By Bret Lasky, PGATOUR.COM
- March 03, 2020
- Fires near Goose Creek Golf Club forced the reduction of the qualifier on Tuesday.
The Hoag Classic qualifier was reduced to nine holes Tuesday after a fire in the vicinity forced the evacuation of host course Goose Creek Golf Club, which is approximately 40 miles northeast of Newport Beach Country Club. After exhausting all options, and by order of the local Jurupa Valley fire department, the remainder of the round was cancelled, with the four qualifiers determined by the event qualifying reduction policy in the PGA TOUR Champions handbook.
Since all players completed at least nine holes, the qualifiers were based on their opening nine hole scores. Because the qualifier had players starting on Nos. 1 and 10, the qualifiers were determined by the two lowest scores on each side. Ties were determined by comparing scorecards.
"It was scary, you could definitely feel the heat on the 14th green," said Shaun Micheel, when reached by phone after driving to Newport Beach. "The fire department did a tremendous job getting it under control. It was crazy, by the time I left, there were three helicopters battling the flames."
The four qualifiers are Shaun Micheel (32), David Morland IV (33), Cliff Kresge (33) and Andy Raitt (35).
Micheel said around 9:30 a.m. his group saw a small brush fire, just one column of smoke. Then, an hour later, he could hear the crackle of the brush.
Micheel and the rest of the players were evacuated off the course at approximately 11:30 a.m. and were then directed by fire officials to leave the property around noon. He went back to his hotel and awaited word from the TOUR.
"It was a bit unsettling, I was hopeful that we'd get back out there," explained Micheel, who missed qualifying for the Cologuard Classic when he three-putted the last hole. "Once I heard I qualified, I packed up all my stuff and drove to Newport Beach. Now I'm looking at the Pacific Ocean."
The Hoag Classic begins Friday at Newport Beach Country Club.