“It’s just a little too windy out there for us to play,” Brandt Snedeker said. “If the course wasn’t so exposed, it wouldn’t be a problem. But you have a lot of greens exposed to 40 mph wind gusts. It’s tough to make that call. They did the right thing. We had to try to play today if we wanted to try to get 72 holes in.”
The PGA Tour has weather guidelines with an emphasis to play 72 holes, even going a fifth day provided the forecast allows for it.
But this is different.
The tour opted last year for a Monday finish to try to stay away from NFL playoffs, and finish before the BCS championship game. The Sony Open in Honolulu starts on Thursday, and it’s no small task to get the television and other tournament equipment to another island.
If the tournament doesn’t end by mid-afternoon on Monday, the Sony Open would have a limited TV operation for its opening round on Thursday. The only way the Tournament of Champions would stretch into Tuesday would be if 54 holes could not be completed. Then, there would be no television coverage.
“It’s a unique situation,” said Andy Pazder, chief of operations for the tour. “It’s a 16-hour barge trip, in good weather.”
Pazder said the tour would not be inclined to follow its weather guidelines for a 72-hole event “because of the impact of next week’s tournament.” But he said the tour was not inclined to go back to a Sunday finish for Kapalua.
Meanwhile, the seven players who chose not to play in this winners-only event were feeling much better about the decision. Luke Donald, who typically takes a long break over the winter, said in a tweet to Ian Poulter, “give me a call — I’ll tell you how calm and sunny it is over here on the East Coast! Haha.”