SAN DIEGO - When the decision was made to move the conclusion of the Farmers Insurance Open to later in the day Monday, several players in the field likely saw their chances of playing at next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open disappear.
Of the 87 players to make the cut this week, 16 are also set to play in tomorrow's Monday qualifier in Phoenix, where 151 participants will fight for just three available spots. When fog essentially wiped out play Saturday, tournament officials originally indicated that those in the field here at Torrey Pines would be given the latest possible tee times in Phoenix, in the hopes that they would be able to play in both places.
With play now not set to resume until 11:10 a.m. PT, it will be impossible for those players to make the qualifier at TPC Scottsdale. PGA Tour vice president of rules Mark Russell indicated that the timing of Monday's restart was dictacted by CBS' decision to air the event live Monday afternoon.
'They're our television partners, and they wanted to show it,' he explained, noting that the decision on when to resume play Monday was one that was made late Sunday morning. 'I thought we'd probably come in and finish tomorrow morning on Golf Channel, but CBS wants to do that and we're more than happy to accommodate.'
Those affected by the decision include several players in contention, notably Brad Fritsch, who will begin play Monday in fourth place with 11 holes remaining. Billy Horschel and Tag Ridings, both currently tied for 16th at 4 under, are also among the players whose plans for next week have been affected. When they get back on the South Course Monday, however, they - like Fritsch - will do so knowing that a top-10 finish at Torrey Pines will also grant them a spot in next week's field.
With the shortened 2013 season, getting the maximum amount of starts has become paramount for many second- and third-tier players hoping to renew their playing privileges for 2014. Ultimately, though, Russell redirected the root cause of the issue to yesterday's fog delays.
'We're at the mercy of the weather,' he added. 'I think it's great for the tournament, great for the San Diego area and great for Farmers that it's going to be on network television.'