When the PGA Tour was preparing for the 2013 Tour season they did not expect what would happen.
First, not every eligible player was in attendance. Noticeably absent were players like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. This is not uncommon but definitely not what the tour envisioned. Obviously they would love all winners, especially their marquee players to be involved in the “kickoff” tournament.
One guest that has been there all week was not welcome though, Mother Nature. She has been a party crasher all weekend wreaking havoc on the tournament. This event normally runs 72 holes and is played Friday thru Monday.
The event kicked off on Friday in driving rain and unheard of wind for a golf tournament. On the back nine of the course, players could not get a ball to hold on the green or stop when putting. It was just insane and makes any weather from a British Open seem tame. That is saying a lot if you remember some of the weather conditions across the pond. Webb Simpson had been a remarkable 3-under thru seven holes on Friday before the PGA tour cancelled the round – not to be continued, or suspended until tomorrow. They wiped the slate clean. Bad news for Simpson but it was probably the right decision.
The tour tried it again on Saturday with a plan to play 36 holes and still get in the 72 holes through Monday. The weather did not cooperate again and the tour was forced to cancel the days play and shift plans again to play 36 holes on Sunday and 18 on Monday for a weather shortened 54 hole event.
Wakeup Sunday morning and Mother Nature was still being a cruel partner, which is something not indicative at this season opening event. Quickly the tour abandoned the early tee times and went to a plan of 18 on Sunday and 36 holes on Monday. When afternoon tee times were also canceled the tour was in rare water. They were forced to go to split tees on Monday morning in an attempt to get in 36 holes Monday and finish with a final round on Tuesday for a 54 hole event.
Will they get it in? Who knows, but one thing is sure – the PGA Tour did not want to have to start and reset their season multiple times over the first weekend of the year. The game is outdoors, so sometimes the people win and other times Mother Nature wins. But now with all these changes who has the best shot to win? My money (hypothetically) is on Dustin Johnson now. He is young, fit and long. He also won 54-hole shortened events before. I like the younger guys when the players are forced to play 36 holes in a day, especially in bad conditions. Of course when they tee it up anyone can win it but if you ask me I lean towards Dustin Johnson now. If not him, maybe a Jason Dufner or even a Keegan Bradley can pull it out. Based on the event, the course and the situation those are the three I expect the most from. Assuming of course the PGA Tour can get the tournament in.
On a side note: If the players had to get stuck somewhere and be forced into a lot of downtime with their families it couldn’t happen at a nice tour stop that Hawaii. So I only feel a bit bad for them 🙂