NORTON, Mass. – Webb Simpson arrived at TPC Boston at 5:15 a.m. (ET). Precisely 14 hours later he climbed back into his courtesy car and headed home, courtesy of Sunday’s storms that swamped the course and sent officials scrambling to complete the round.
Simpson originally teed off at 7:55 a.m. and was blazing along at 2 under through four holes when played was halted at 8:48 a.m. In an attempt to complete the round on Sunday, officials wiped out the morning play of 14 players and restarted the round at 12:15 p.m. in threesomes off the first and 10th tees.
Although the move turned out to be just what the event needed to stay on schedule, the final groups finished their rounds at dusk, some players were not entirely happy with the move.
“I love our rules staff, I love the decisions they make, I know they always do what’s best. But I, personally, thought we should have started in threesomes because my forecast looked pretty bad,” said Simpson, who also had part of his opening round earlier this year at the season opener in Hawaii wiped clean.
“But I’m not going to throw them under the bus. I know they are just trying to do what’s best.”
Most players seemed to have a problem with officials beginning the third round without playing lift, clean and place considering Sunday’s poor weather forecast.
Had they started the day playing the ball “up” they could have continued to play the round after the delay, but even then they would not have finished Round 2 on Sunday.
“It’s just one of those things. They are trying their best to get the tournament in. Guys that are 2 or 3 under are in the back of the field anyway. I don’t see them making a big impact,” said Luke Donald, who was 1 under through two holes when played was cancelled. “We got finished so I think it was definitely the right call.”
Officials will race against Mother Nature again on Monday, with players going off in threesomes off both sides starting at 8 a.m.