Feb
5
2011
Phoenix Heading for Monday Finish
By Conor Nagle under PGA Tour

With Frost around the 18th green, a volunteer takes a nap during a frost delay prior to the first round

I mentioned in an earlier post that the gloriously titled Waste Management Open was heading for a Monday finish, but Geoff Shackelford has just popped up with a convenient compilation of reports and interviews on the subject. So, if you have a fetish for macro-logistics  or you just can’t live without knowing why 54 holes just isn’t cool, read on!

Apparently, the Waste Management Open will continue to play opposite the Super Bowl, finishing play on Sunday evening with the leaders still on the course. They’ll return early on Monday to finish their rounds and the full 72-hole tournament. Why is 54 holes not an option?

Apparently, the Tour has a policy in place whereby shortening the event to 54-holes is only really favoured in the event a severe weather forecast for Monday or Tuesday. With that decisively off the table, the apparently sensible decision to play the entire fourth round on Monday was deemed equally unworkable. Slugger White explains:

“I think everybody would kind of like to get out of here. That’s what we’re trying to do. Guys trying to get to Pebble or trying to get everywhere. I wouldn’t want to burn two hours of daylight or whatever.”

Or whatever, indeed.

WMO Chairman points out that the real problem isn’t going to be encountered on Sunday, it’s Saturday morning, when the dreaded frost is set for a major comeback:

“Well, I think the issue is it’s not so much Sunday morning. We probably may have a frost delay on Sunday morning. It’s more tomorrow morning. You would have to really be able to tee off and get the players out first thing tomorrow morning, 7:30-ish, and there’s going to be another frost delay, freeze tomorrow, probably an hour or two, so we just can’t get enough golf in on Saturday really.”

There you have it.

Conor

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)