The year was 1994, the tournament was the Byron Nelson Classic between Dallas and Fort Worth, and the weather was ' in a word ' awful. There was enough rain to float Noahs Ark, enough lightning to illuminate the Western hemisphere, even a tornado got into the act.
And that was just Mother Nature. The players? Well, for one thing, six of them made the playoff. They couldnt play the first round during its regularly scheduled time of Thursday. They couldnt play it Friday. By Friday night, not a single shot had been played by the 156-man field.
What to do? Well, the PGA Tour officials frantically huddled Saturday morning. Obviously they couldnt get 156 men around if they didnt have another course to go with the TPC of Los Colinas. So they requisitioned the adjacent Cottonwood Valley course ' a move that was incorporated permanently, incidentally ' and sent out golfers left and right, to Cottonwood and the TPC, to two No. 1 tees and to No. 10 tees.
Storms visited the area again on Saturday evening while many players were still on the two courses. It was, in short, a week much better suited to sailboats than it was to 3-woods.
By Sunday afternoon, harried officials had gotten around the courses through 36 holes. The tournament had been in big trouble since it had begun on Thursday. The tour reluctantly decided to call it official when the tournament was halfway through, at the end of 36.
Trouble was, they still hadnt done much winnowing. Six players were tied for the low score. One-hundred-fifty were excused from further competition, heading for the airport and drier climes.
For Neal Lancaster, David Ogrin, Mark Carnevale, Tom Byrum and Yoshi Mizamaki and David Edwards, it was a soggy journey back to the 18th tee for the start of the playoff. Finally luck prevailed ' it took just one hole to sort out a winner.
That was Lancaster. He lobbed his approach shot to five feet. Carnevale was just outside five feet and putted before Lancaster. The other four missed long birdie tries. Carnevale came close, good enough in horseshoes but not in golf.
Finally, up stepped Lancaster. He stroked the putt dead-center, ending what could have been another hour of play while waiting for the six to whittle down the number of participants.
I was so nervous my hands were shaking on the putter, said Lancaster.
It turned out to be Lancasters lone victory.