When it rains, it pours on PGA Tour

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Now there's something you don't get to see around these parts every day: Golf. Somehow amid the rain-drops, the thunder-claps and the lightning bolts, they managed to get about two-thirds of a round played at The Players Championship. This year on the PGA Tour, that's quite an accomplishment.

At this pace, this thing will be wrapped up by the middle of next week. After three days, this richest tournament of the year isn't even halfway home. That's the good news.

The bad news is that more lousy weather is on tap, literally, today.

"It's just been so much starting and stopping. We're kind of getting used to it now ... all the waiting," said Mike Weir, who recovered from an opening round 74 on Thursday to post a second-round 68 yesterday. "You just can't get any momentum going. (Yesterday morning) I went out and hit every fairway and green, then had to go in and sit for three hours again with a birdie putt at nine to think about for three hours."

After play resumed, Weir missed that 13-foot putt but his back nine turned into his best nine holes of the tournament to date. He made birdies at the par-five 11th, the par-three 13th (nearly holing his tee shot), the par-five 16th and the difficult par-four 18th. he made one off-setting bogey at the 15th.

The bird on 18, set up by a laser-like 7-iron from 166 yards that settled less than four feet from the hole, could be a key to his week. It moved him from 62nd place to 45th and makes him one-shot safer when the cut is made today. Normally, 70 players make the cut but there is a chance they will cut to 60 to get finished more quickly.

"I think it is (important)," said Weir. "I don't know about them cutting to 60 but the scores are going pretty low. I knew I had to hit a good shot in there."

PGA Tour officials didn't help the situation this weekend by mishandling and miscalculating some key decisions.

Yesterday morning, with a succession of strong storms less than an hour away, they started sending out players to start their second round. With the ground saturated, it would have made sense to have them play lift, clean and place, especially since there was more weather on the way.

Instead, they had those players -- 27 of them as it turned out -- play the ball "as it lies." Sure enough, the storms arrived and play was washed out for seven hours. When the skies cleared, the same PGA officials then were boxed into a corner.

Since the round had already begun under one set of rules, they could not change in mid-stream. They chose to suspend play for the rest of the day in hopes the course would dry out over night, allowing the second round to be played "as it lies."

WIPED OUT

No such luck. Yesterday morning, they wiped out all the hole scores by the unlucky 27 and started the entire round over again.

"It stunk for some of the guys that played three holes and were playing well," said Zach Johnson, the emerging star who is sitting at nine-under-par, one shot off the lead. "They probably should have started playing it 'up' yesterday morning and they wouldn't have had the problem."

Few of the players involved would speak for attribution but there were some unhappy campers among the unlucky 27 who had to go out and replay those holes under lift, clean and place conditions.

Weir will probably be able to put his feet up most of the day today, if not all day, unless the weather forecast is faulty, as hard as that is to believe.

"When you're waiting around that much, you really have to be ready when you finally get called out to the course," said Weir. "You can't take anything for granted."

That's the understatement of the day. Anybody in the field who isn't ready for anything just isn't ready at all.


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