Monday blues at Bay Hill


ORLANDO, Fla. – A steady rain pelted Bay Hill early Monday morning and the resumption of the final round was pushed back to noon, giving ground crews extra time to ready the golf course and Ernie Els, who holds a two-stroke lead through 14 holes, time to stew.

Els, who played his final two holes on Sunday double bogey-bogey, was headed for the 14th tee box when the weather-warning horn blew while Kevin Na is facing an 81-foot birdie putt at the 15th.

Mark Russell, the Tour’s vice president of rules, said the course was unplayable Sunday and early Monday the 16th fairway was dotted with puddles.

Twenty-one players failed to finish their final rounds, including Davis Love III who was on his final hole when play was halted. Love was scheduled to host a media event for the McGladrey Classic on Monday at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort. Instead, he will kick off the event via a conference call before heading out to the Monday mud.

Officials estimate they have about 50 minutes of play remaining and ground crews only have to ready seven holes for play to accommodate the leaders as well as the groups that teed off on Sunday on the 10th hole.

Rain chances are forecast to drop on Monday from a 60 percent chance of precipitation at 10 p.m. to just a 10 percent chance at 11 a.m.