TPC storm larger than forecasted


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Blame it on the weatherman. At least that’s the general idea of why PGA Tour officials didn’t move up tee times on Saturday in an attempt to beat a storm that halted play for 4 ½ hours at The Players Championship.

“The forecast was for a 40 percent chance (of rain) with scattered storms in the afternoon and then it just blew up,” said Mark Russell, the circuit’s vice president of rules and competitions.

Instead, a violent front sent players and fans scurrying for cover from 40 mph winds and pea-sized hail. Asked if the Tour would have considered moving up tee times (front-runner David Toms was scheduled to start Round 3 at 2:45 p.m.) and possibly play off the first and 10th tees in threesomes instead of twosomes to beat the storm Russell said, “possibly.”

But Russell pointed out they probably would not have been able to finish the third round on Saturday. He was also optimistic the tournament can finish on Sunday. Players will be repaired after the third round is completed into threesomes and sent off the first and 10th tees.