Storms push final round to Monday at Barbasol Championship
Mahan, Streb, Lovelady and Merrit lead the pack at 18-under heading into Monday
July 22, 2018
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Inclement weather suspends play at Barbasol
NICHOLASVILLE, Kentucky — Heavy rain that rendered parts of Keene Trace Golf Club unplayable early in the afternoon, coupled with severe weather later in the day, has forced the Barbasol Championship into a Monday finish.
There were a total of three suspensions of play with the final one coming at 7:31 p.m. ET as a thunderstorm rolled through the area. The final four groups had yet to hit their opening tee shots.
“Hard to explain,” PGA TOUR Tournament Director Steve Carman said with thunder rumbling in the distance on Sunday night. “Mother Nature is just not giving us very much to deal with.
“Golf course is saturated, so any kind of rain makes it unplayable.”
Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. ET on Monday. Robert Streb, Hunter Mahan, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt are tied for the lead at 18 under and will tee off in the final two groups at 7:50 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.
Ben Silverman was making the biggest move up the leaderboard when play was halted for the day, taking advantage of the wet conditions and playing his first 10 holes in 7-under. He birdied his last five holes before the delay and will return to the 11th tee on Monday.
Carman said Nos. 1, 2, 12 and 17 are the problem holes. The biggest concerns are the fairways, although several bunkers had to be pumped because there was nowhere in them to give relief.
The first delay came at 12:40 p.m. on Sunday when areas on the course became too wet to continue play. Once the course was ready, play resumed at 4:28, but was suspended again 12 minutes later.
The weather eventually cleared and play resumed at 5:59 p.m. But thunder and lightning returned to the area and prompted officials to suspend play for the day 92 minutes later.
Carman said about four-and-a-half hours of golf remain to be played. With any luck – and no delays – a champion could be crowned before noon.
“If we get suspended, then we've got until dark to get it in,” Carman said. “The goal is 72 holes, and that includes on Monday.”
Severe weather also delayed the second round on Friday. After an early morning delay, play got underway at 9:30 a.m. and continued until 3:25 p.m. It was eventually called for the day but the second round was completed and the third round finished on Saturday.
The Monday finish is the second this year on the PGA TOUR. But the one at the Farmers Insurance Open only involved two players and a single hole as Jason Day beat Alex Noren with an 18-inch birdie putt on the sixth hole of sudden death.
Storms are expected overnight but the weather forecast for Monday is more favorable with just a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.