Players take PGA delays, decisions in stride


SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The gloom that hung low over Baltusrol Golf Club matched perfectly with a general sense of foreboding held by many fans and media as the delayed third round resumed at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

Storms halted play on Saturday with five groups still waiting to tee off and officials were scrambling to complete the event on schedule, with the final round beginning at 8:40 a.m. ET.

With more storms forecast for Sunday the possibility of a Monday finish loomed, yet as unpopular as that may be to those in the media and viewing public the players largely seemed to be at ease with the scenario.

“It’s a major, I would have thought we would do everything that we can, even if we’re here until, well, no one likes the ‘Tuesday’ word, but even if we’re here until Tuesday,” Paul Casey said. “You do everything you can to complete the event in the manner appropriate for a major.”

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With no more delays, the final round should be completed around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, but as groups finished their third rounds a light rain began falling and the forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of more precipitation when the leaders are scheduled to tee off around 3 p.m.

Despite the hassle of continued delays and evolving travel plans, however, many players seemed to be taking the challenges in stride.

“I’m not bothered by any of it. It is what it is, you just have to go ahead and play and not worry about politics and things,” Steve Stricker said. “Everybody is in the same boat and we may be here until Monday, Tuesday even, you just have to go out and play.”

That’s not to say there hasn’t been plenty of second-guessing over the last two days in the locker room. From the PGA of America’s decision to not send players off the first and 10th tees on Saturday to the association’s move to not re-pair for the final round there has been plenty to talk about during the extended delays.

“We’re all experts in there, aren’t we? Every Tour player is a weatherman, every Tour player is an expert on set up. We’re all experts,” Casey smiled.