Heavy rain delays Web.com Tour finals

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Tropical weather is now 2-up through two years for the Web.com Tour Championship.

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The final round at the Atlantic Beach Country Club on Sunday was suspended shortly before noon after the Northeaster that hit the area dropped 3.5 inches of rain on the course to that point, with more in the forecast. The tournament will resume on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), with tee times between 8:00-9:39 a.m.

Golf Channel will air the tournament live from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Jonathan Byrd shot 64 in Saturday’s third round to take the lead at 20-under par. Sam Saunders (70) is 18-under and Cameron Tringale (65) is 17-under. There are 33 players who are 10-under or lower.

ABCC general manager Robert Stone said all tickets for Sunday would be honored and fans can continue to park in the old K-Mart lot off Atlantic Boulevard, with free shuttles to the course.

Officials leave the course as wind and rain delay the start of the fourth and final round of the Web.com Tour Championship held at Atlantic Beach Country Club on Monday in Atlantic Beach, Florida. AFP PHOTO

“We’ve been amazed at the turnout this week, and we expect a good crowd on Monday,” Stone said.

The stakes — 25 PGA Tour cards through earnings in the four-tournament Web.com Finals series — are too high to shorten the tournament to 54 holes, said Web.com Tour president Dan Glod.

Especially after last year’s tournament was canceled because of Hurricane Matthew, with the Finals results frozen through three events.

“We were devastated last year that we didn’t get to play,” Glod said. “Our tournament regulations allow us to play on Monday’s for this tournament and the last regular-season event [the WinCo Foods Open in Portland], and we’re going to do what our regulations allow us to do.”

In addition to the 25 players projected to get their cards, another 20 can get into the mix by finishing among the top-10.

The ABCC maintenance staff needed several hours of dry weather for the course to drain and get it ready for play, but that window was never going to open, according to the forecast. Monday’s weather calls for windy conditions but little if any rain.

Hurricane Irma dumped around 20 inches on the course.

“We might have been able to play some golf late in the afternoon, but we didn’t think it was right to make the players sit around for six hours only to announce we’re not going to play,” Glod said.

Twelve players in the weekend field decided to withdraw instead of playing on Monday, four of them who had already earned their Tour cards by finishing among the top 25 on the regular-season money list: Nate Lashley, Andrew Landry, Marty Dou and Adam Schenk.

Two other players, Nicholas Lindheim and Jonathan Randolph, already had enough Finals earnings to be assure of their cards. However, the rest of the withdrawals still had 18 holes to have the chance to move up: David Hearn, Ricky Barnes, Rhein Gibson, Andrew Loupe, Angel Cabrera and John Peterson.

All would have been long shots. Hearn was the closest to the projected 25th spot at 8-under par and would have had to finish sixth or higher to get his card. If he had played, he would have started seven shots behind seventh-place Roberto Castro.

TNS

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