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Prospects are bleak for playing Viking Classic

It looks like those players who came to Mississippi this week hoping to improve their standing on the PGA Tour money list are going to go home empty-handed. The first round of the Viking Classic at Annandale GC in Madison has been twice postponed, pushing the start of the tournament to Sunday, weather permitting.

But weather isn't cooperating. A rainstorm struck just around noon CDT Friday, just minutes after tournament director Slugger White said that any appreciable amount of precipitation would make conducting the tournament at all a longshot.

White said an announcement on the fate of the competition would not be made until assessing course conditions Saturday morning. He added that the tournament could be moved to next weekend or rescheduled, but that decision would have to come from commissioner Tim Finchem.

Central Mississippi has been hit with more than 20 inches of rain the last 30 days, and the poor drainage at Annandale is hampering the tournament. (Reunion G&CC across the street, with more drainage and a sand base, was open Thursday.)

White said that several areas of the golf course haven't improved much in the 30 hours since an overnight storm Wednesday -- and in some places they are worse. Rules official Gary Young, who informed the players at 10:15 a.m. that play had been canceled for the day, said that some tees and fairways can't handle any foot traffic. "We're sinking one or two inches. Imagine the damage to the course with 132 players and caddies," he said.

-- Dave Shedloski
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