Gusts of up to 52mph blew down the main scoreboard on 18, along with several TV towers, at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral on Thursday during the weather-delayed first round. Shortly after the horn sounded, the gusts and torrential showers tore through the golf course. Surveying the damage, it appeared like TPC had been battered by a hurricane. Close, but not quite — according to tournament director Eddie Carbone, it was a microburst that came unexpectedly.
17 trees, TV towers on 8 and 9, and a ShortLink tower on 1 were damaged in the storm. Expensive camera equipment on the 9th fell into the lake and scuba divers were sent in to salvage what they could.
Carbone said the hospitality structures were operational, except the double-decker structure on No. 9 called “The Point.”
“Ironically, the Monster Board is now closed,” added Carbone.
Officials roped off the area with yellow tape that read “caution.”
No injuries were reported. Fans were given access to the clubhouse to seek shelter.
Play resumed at 2:30pm. Only nine guys completed the first round, which will resume at 8:30 Friday morning.
(AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Allen Eyestone)