NZPGA reduced to 36 holes
BY iseekgolf.com | Web.com Tour | 2008 NZ PGA Championship | Round Two | 16 Feb 2008
The 2008 HSBC NZ PGA Championship will be a 36 hole event after play was called off for the second day in a row today.
Torrential rain for the past two days forced the complete abandonment of play yesterday and allowed only one and a half hours of play today, giving officials little choice but to make the tournament a 36 hole event after just 18 holes were completed on the first day.
Director of Tournaments Australian Andrew Langford Jones said it was unfortunate that the course had become waterlogged again and whilst they tried to continue the tournament the weather had beaten them.
“The course is just so wet that we feel that even if the rain stopped in the next hour or two we wouldn’t be able to get it up for this evening or even later on in the day so play has been abandoned for the day.”
“Unfortunately things greater than us control these decisions. We were hoping today that it would be just drizzle and we could get through but the course unfortunately had taken four inches of rain prior to that and it just couldn’t get away and it just kept building. Hopefully with the forecast we’ll have probably ten hours of dry before the first tee tomorrow and we won’t have the problem that we had today.”
Fifty-one players got a start this morning after an hours delay but at 10.07am rain again drenched the course and the decision to call off play for the day was made early afternoon with the course unplayable. As a result no scores from today will be counted.
“Their scores have been cancelled as we only got through four or five holes and it was felt it would be unfair to carry those scores forward to tomorrow,” said Langford-Jones. “We are doing a re-draw to make it a fairer score for everyone and whilst its unfortunate, we had a player meeting and 99% of the players understood and approved – its just part if professional golf life.”
The event has been reduced to a 36 hole tournament with the full field of 156 to play their second 18 holes tomorrow (Sunday).
The draw will be seeded tomorrow, which will see overnight co-leaders Americans Matt Bettencourt and Darron Stiles grouped with Canadian David Hearn (-6) on the first tee.
The forecast for tomorrow is good with the rain supposed to be stopping by five o’clock this afternoon.
“That will give all night for the course to dry out and we believe that play will be able to commence at 7:30am tomorrow morning, with the final groups teeing off at 2:30pm,” said Langford-Jones.
The full field of $US650,000 prizemoney will still be awarded and whilst the win will be unofficial, the prizemoney will still count towards the Order of Merit.
Source – PGA Tour