In case you haven’t heard, Hurricane Earl is heading straight towards New England, but as of now, the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, MA, will be played on Friday. Officials moved up tee times by 40 minutes to 7:00am, hoping to get as much golf in as possible before the storm hits the area.
“In a nutshell for us, it still looks okay here tomorrow morning,” said meteorologist Stewart Williams. “I think once we get to the early afternoon time frame, we’ll definitely start getting some of the outer bands of Earl, and so we’ll get some showers and some brief, gusty winds at that point. And then once I think we get to the late afternoon, especially the evening hours, heavier rain will be likely and the winds will definitely increase, late afternoon, 20 to 30 with some higher gusts, and I think in the evening it will be 30 to 40 with gusts probably 45 to 50.”
Even though Earl is predicted to weaken from a Category 4 storm to a Category 3, it will still bring in strong winds reaching 100 mph to the Cape Cod/Nantucket area by Friday evening.
What I’m concerned about? The media tent is two floors and it doesn’t look sturdy enough to hold strong winds. But apparently the larger tents shouldn’t be much of a worry. Meteorologist Stew says it’s the smaller structures that the tent people are going to strip down to the metal frames.
“As long as we can play golf by the rules, we’re going to play,” said Tour official Mark Russell. “But if the wind blows so hard it blows the ball around on the greens, we can’t play if it rains so hard that the hole goes under water we can’t play. But we might get lucky, who knows.”
In other words, let Mother Nature blow its course. And if Earl stays on path, the guys in the morning draw will avoid the fierce winds blustering in.
Oh, Tiger Woods tees off at 11:42am. Phil Mickelson, who withdrew from Thursday’s pro-am, has yet to grace TPC Boston with his presence (no word as to his whereabouts).