AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Weather threatening to wash out the rest of Pebble Beach Pro-Am and shorten it to 54 holes
Ludvig Ãberg and caddie caddie Joe Skovron stand on the 18th green during rain on Saturday at Pebble Beach.
PEBBLE BEACH — PGA Tour regulations stipulate that tournament officials have to make every effort to complete 72 holes at a given event, and every effort is likely going to be needed to play four rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The weather forecast for Sunday’s final round of this $20 million signature event did not appear conducive to allowing the competition to resume on schedule. One to three inches of rain were expected to further saturate an already soggy layout, and if that wasn’t enough to make Pebble Beach unplayable, wind of more than 30 mph, with gusts at 60 mph, arrived around 10 p.m. PT Saturday and are expected to last throughout the day Sunday.
Sure enough, Sunday became a washout. After initially delaying the final round with a statement at 5:15 a.m. local time, the tour announced later in the morning that there would be no play at all on Sunday with officials hoping to resume play on Monday morning. Wyndham Clark, after a course-record 12-under 60, leads Ludvig Aberg by one stroke at 17-under 199. If the event were shortened to 54 holes, Clark would collect his third tour title and $3.6 million.
The tournament already has had its challenges over the first three days because of the wet weather. At least 12 balls have been lost due to getting plugged in the rain-soaked turf at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. One of those belonged to Clark in the first round on Spyglass Hill’s seventh hole, where he went on to save bogey. One player at Spyglass lost a ball that landed in the fairway but burrowed so deeply no one could find it.
Unfortunately, more rain is expected on Monday. If the final round does not begin by 10:15 a.m. PT Monday, the tournament would be reduced to 54 holes and Clark would be declared the winner.
Citing tour regulations, Young explained that “we can't start play on Monday without knowing that we could finish play on Monday. If we did that, and then for some reason weather rolled in on us that caused us to delay again, if more than half the field has finished play, then we would extend play into Tuesday. But we would need more than half of them to have completed their round on Monday.”
Due to the potential for dangerous conditions from the high winds, fans will not be allowed on the property on Sunday, even if there is golf. However, that seems unlikely. Though greens have been slowed down to account for wind, Young estimated that balls would likely not remain still if winds exceed 40 mph.
Tournament director Steve John said that he consulted with tournament operations about potentially taking down some tents and structures on the property in preparation for the high winds, but there isn’t enough time and just about every structure can withstand the gusts, even if they reach the forecasted 60 mph.
Young said he was “hopeful” that the 80-player field could complete 72 holes. But the conditions have to be manageable.
“We want to make sure that we have a championship that's been played under … right now we know we've played three rounds where everyone's been playing under the same conditions,” Young said. “Everyone's aware that we have had some golf balls that have plugged and been lost out there. We just want to make sure that on Monday, if we get to that point, that the golf course is such that we are conducting a good quality championship, the conditions are of professional standards.”