January 5 2013
A Kapalua flag blows after Saturday was canceled due to high winds at the Plantation Course. (Petersen/Getty Images)
By Ann Miller, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii -- Driving wind forced the postponement of the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the second straight day Saturday. PGA TOUR officials hope to get in 36 holes Sunday and play 18 on Monday’s final day, declaring a champion after 54 holes.
“We got balls rolling all over the green, so we have canceled play for the day,” said Slugger White, the PGA TOUR's vice president of rules and operations. White added that winds gusting over 50 mph were moving balls on the 10th, 11th and 13th greens, even pushing them uphill on the 10th.
Friday’s opening round was wiped out with the first group through eight holes. Three groups did not tee off after an official saw Carl Pettersson’s 40-foot putt on the second green get blown 30 feet past the hole and off the green.
Officials hoped to play two rounds Saturday at 7:30 a.m. local time. The start was delayed an hour just before the first groups were to tee off, and the delay eventually reached 3 hours.
At approximately 10:20 a.m., officials made the decision to try again Sunday, going off the first and 10th tees at 7:10 a.m. local time (12:10 p.m. ET).
“Forecast for tomorrow is a little better, 15- to 25-mph with gusts, maybe, to 30,” White said. “A little less moisture, more like pineapple showers than these downpours that we have had.”
Brandt Snedeker has not struck an official shot in 2013. He is playing in the final group with defending champion Steve Stricker and they did not tee off Friday. Snedeker was happy with the officials’ decision.
“Yeah, they did do the right thing,” Snedeker said. “It's just a little too windy out there for us to play. If the course wasn't so exposed, it wouldn't be a problem, but you have a lot of greens exposed to 40-mile-an-hour wind gusts.
“It's tough to make that call. They did the right thing. We had to try to play today if we wanted to try to get 72 holes in. Unfortunately a short day, but hopefully get out tomorrow and get some golf.”
Hunter Mahan said the 30 players were trying to take the delays in stride.
“It’s difficult,” Mahan said. “We are in such a cool place and we can't really do much. It's strange when you go down the road 10 minutes or 15, 20 minutes and it's great, it looks beautiful over there but for some reason right here, it's tough.
“It's difficult to figure out if you want to go hit balls right now or wait till later or what you want to do. I think we all are trying to figure out what to do and what's the best plan for us to get ready for the next two days or three days.”