Mother Nature has already affected the tournament schedule at the Zozo Championship, which is set to finish on Monday due to excessive amounts of rain. Now, she's wreaking havoc on the scorecard.
Because of the flooding, the fairway at Narashino Country Club's 376-yard par-4 10th was so soaked that it was unplayable at its full length. This forced the PGA Tour to move up the tee. Here is the tour's full statement:
"Given the rain that the golf course received, the maintenance team and the golf course itself responded remarkably. After spending the morning repairing bunkers and working tirelessly to get the course in appropriate condition, Rules and Competition staff have assessed the playability of 18 holes and have determined that due to the excessive amount of rain the par-4 10th will be significantly shortened for round 2. Preferred lies will be in effect for the second round. Should all players finish the second round on Saturday, the third round will begin Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. local time."
The hole will play only 140 yards, but it will still officially be a par 4. That hole, in addition to preferred lies, should make for very low scoring in the second round. C.T. Pan, who began his round four back of Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland, has already made a "birdie" at the 10th to pull within three shots. Not a bad way to start:
Essentially, the course is now playing as a par 69, but it's still officially a circle on the scorecard. Here's what the 10th hole currently looks like, courtesy of Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker:
According to Gary Young, VP of rules and competition for the PGA Tour, the goal is to return the 10th hole to its full length for the third and fourth rounds.
As for the rest of the course, it appears to be in pretty good shape. To get it that way took a ton of hard work, judging from Ian Poulter's viral video of the golf course during the typhoon.
Incredible job by the grounds crew. Let's hope it's nothing but sunny skies the rest of the weekend (and Monday).