First Round of Royal Caribbean Classic Washed Away


The first round of the Royal Caribbean Classic on the Senior Tour was canceled Friday due to heavy downpours that rendered Crandon Park Golf Club unplayable.
The tournament has been reduced to 36 holes as play is scheduled to resume Saturday morning with the same pairings and tee times from the first round.
'Given the conditions, there's no way that all 78 players could complete the nine holes required to make the round official,' said Gene Smith, the Assistant Tournament Director for the Senior Tour. 'We'll start again in the morning and a 36-hole tournament this year.'
For two players this was supposed to be their debuts on the elder circuit. Fuzzy Zoeller played in the Senior Skins Game last week but this was to be his first official Senior Tour event.
Tom Purtzer, without the hoopla, was also debuting on the Senior Tour on Friday and above all else, he has the biggest reason to be angry at the weather. He was in the lead at 4-under-par through 13 holes, but all of that, like the playable conditions, was wiped away.
'I didn't know what the rule is out here,' said Purtzer. 'There's not much you can do. It would have been better if I would have been 4-over.'
Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw was also set to debut this week but a case of the flu forced him to withdraw on Wednesday.
This is the first full-field event of the 2002 Senior PGA Tour season.