Weather Suspends Second Rd of FUTURES Tour
Recurring lightning storms drove half of the tournament field back into the clubhouse during second-round action. Players were shuttled off the course at 4:07 p.m. as lightning was spotted and rain pelted the LPGA International Course.
Wigger, one shot off the lead at 4-under par coming into Saturdays action, grabbed a one-stroke lead after completing just six holes in her 2:09 p.m. tee-time. She scored a birdie on the fifth hole and was primed for another on the par-3 seventh hole before the storms hit. The non-exempt LPGA Tour member and former University of Virginia Cavalier passed first-day leader Nari Kim of Seoul, South Korea, after Kim made bogey on the third hole.
Its just part of golf to expect bad weather, said Wigger of Louisville, Ky. I looked at the weather reports for the weekend and I think Im a good player in bad weather because a lot of people get frustrated.
After players lingered for over half an hour in the clubhouse, play was suspended for the day around 6 p.m. by Duramed FUTURES Tour Head Rules Official Kelly Wergin because of recurring lightning strikes over the Legends Course.
We saw that the lightning storms were still coming toward the area, Wergin said. We were able to get 72 players off the course. Play will resume tomorrow at 8 a.m.
Players will be able to warm up on the driving range as soon as its light according to Wergin and move to the carts at 7:40 a.m. to conclude second-round play at 8 a.m. After the second round is completed and the 36-hole cut is made, the first and 10th tees will be utilized to complete Sundays final round, beginning around 11:45 a.m.
Carrying the low round of the day at 3-under par through nine holes prior to the storm, Yeon Joo Lee, had an unfortunate triple bogey on the 10th hole. The third-year professional from Seoul, South Korea, carded back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, defying the wind that plagued most of the field in the morning.
Its OK because everyone is in the same situation, Lee said after coming off the course. I just need to go back out with the same mentality tomorrow and try to pick up where I left off.
Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day
The storm didnt dampen the hearts of the players after packing in the clubhouse to retreat from the torrential downpour. The sudden invasion of Duramed FUTURES Tour players flooded the clubhouse lobby and preceded a wedding ceremony as they waited for announcements.
While waiting for the weather to clear, Second-year Duramed FUTURES Tour pro Caroline Larsson of Stockholm, Sweden, expanded her Korean vocabulary and proudly showed off new terminology to Scotland native and former Florida Southern collegian Pamela Feggans. Former Cal-Berkeley standout Sofie Andersson and her coach, Katarina Vangdal, the Swedish National Coach, wondered if there was a Coldstone Ice Cream shop in the vicinity. Libby Smith of Essex Junction, Vt., started thinking about the Final Four in the NCAA mens basketball championship. Smith says she doesnt follow college basketball and is more of an NBA fan, but still has a team to root for as March Madness continues later tonight.
I dont really get into the pools, but Im rooting for Kansas because my host family (originally from Kansas) might not let me in if I dont, Smith joked.
Jennifer Ackerson Scores Ace on 15th hole
Jennifer Ackerson of Dallas scored the Tour's second season hole-in-one during Saturday's second round. Ackerson used a 6-iron to ace the 164-yard 15th hole. It was her third career hole-in-one, but her first in competition.
'I was plus-two for the day and that shot got me back to even par, so it was pretty nice,' she said. 'It came at a good time.'
Olsen Salvages Second Round, Remains in the Hunt
Second-year Duramed FUTURES Tour pro Sarah (Martin) Olsen felt fortunate to have a morning tee time. Finishing at 2-over par on the day with a 74, the former collegian at Michigan State discussed the answers for blustery conditions and will have to wait to see how the second round plays out tomorrow to see if she will make the cut. A former college teammate of Duramed FUTURES Tour alums Allison Fouch and Emily Bastel in East Lansing, Olsen is no stranger to the complicated weather that she saw in the Big Ten Conference.
Sometimes the wind would affect it and sometimes the wind wouldnt touch it today, said Olsen of Brownstone, Mich. It kept me guessing because it was really windy in the morning. Its just not the weather that makes me play bad though, sometimes I can shoot myself in the foot.
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.