KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Why didn’t the PGA of America order an early split-tee start Saturday in an effort to try to complete the third round before an afternoon storm ended play late in the afternoon?
“I think the forecast for today was actually better than it was for yesterday, in fact,” said Kerry Haigh, the PGA’s managing director of championships. “Obviously, August in many states at this time of year is a challenging time, and sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're not.”
Play was suspended Saturday at 4:50 p.m. ET and never resumed. Weather warnings were posted almost an hour before that to give spectators time to evacuate. The storm hit about at 5:30 p.m.
Haigh said he has received a promising forecast for Sunday with the third round resuming at 7:45 a.m. and the final round scheduled to begin at 11:44 a.m. with the leaders off at 1:45 p.m. The final round will feature threesomes off the first and 10th tees.
TNT is scheduled to air live coverage at 8 a.m.
“The forecast for tomorrow is very positive,” Haigh said. “There is a chance of some lingering showers first thing in the morning, but following that, our weather people tell us we can expect a very good day with winds very slightly less than they have been today. With that forecast, I think the plan we have should certainly allow us to finish on schedule tomorrow evening at about 10 minutes to 7.”
While the course will be softened by the rain, Haigh expects it will still present a challenge.
“We had 4/10ths of an inch of rain last evening, so assuming this rain does not last all night . . . Hopefully, we will have similar conditions as we had today. Obviously, one of the great advantages of the Ocean Course is it’s built on sand dune, and it drains extremely well. Once it stops [raining], it will drain, and the greens will be soft as they have been all week, but it will still present a great challenge, and I think it will be an extremely exciting final 28, 29 holes for the leaders.”