The frigid temperatures and frozen greens in Scottsdale have forced the Waste Management Phoenix Open into a Monday finish. What is slightly more perplexing is that the PGA Tour intends to play right up until dark both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, squeezing as many holes as possible out of the available daylight and, on Sunday, putting its TV product directly up against the Super Bowl. The NFL's championship game will kick off at roughly 4:30 p.m. local time Sunday afternoon when golfers will be playing the middle holes of a round they already know they can't complete.
"In a perfect world, we'll probably finish Monday, four or five holes," said Slugger White, the Tour's vice-president of Rules and Competitions and the on-site tournament director. "It's unbelievable how frozen these greens get and they just don't thaw out."
When asked why they wouldn't just conclude the third round Sunday and then play the entire fourth round Monday, White said, "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."
Was running up against the Super Bowl a consideration at all? "Absolutely not," said White. "We don't consider that. We don't consider a major. This is what we're dealing with right now here in Phoenix for the Waste Management people."
-- Jim Moriarty