PGA Tour

Storm halts Woods march

2013-03-25 07:04
Tiger Woods (AFP)
Florida - Tiger Woods's bid to regain the world No 1 ranking with an eighth Bay Hill title was put on hold when a severe thunder storm forced the final round finish to be pushed to Monday.

Woods and playing partner Rickie Fowler had just completed the second hole when the horns blew to stop play. Woods's birdie at the par-three second put him 12-under for the tournament and stretched his lead to three strokes over Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Ken Duke and John Huh.

Woods won his seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational title here last year. A record eighth triumph in the event would see him supplant Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy atop the world rankings.

The 14-time major champion has spent a record 623 weeks on top of the world.

But he has not paced the rankings since October of 2010 after injuries and an infamous sex scandal saw him tumble from the top 50.

Sunday's storm swept across the course in dramatic fashion, with gusting winds toppling a television tower behind the 10th green.

NBC broadcaster Dan Hicks tweeted that five camera towers were blown over. Spectators were evacuated from the course and reporters from the media tent as the storm spawned a tornado warning in the area and briefly cut power in the clubhouse.

After play had been stopped for about an hour and a half, officials announced that the round would resume at 10 am (14:00 GMT) on Monday.

"Golf course is gone, bunkers are gone. We're going to need time for the course to drain," said PGA Tour vice president of rules and competition Mark Russell.

Woods took a two-shot lead into the final round after a six-under par 66 on Saturday.

Woods, who has won 50 times in 54 tries when holding the lead entering the final round, seeks his 77th career PGA triumph -- five shy of matching Sam Snead's all-time record - in his final tuneup event for next month's Masters.

Woods has won five titles in the past 12 months, a run that began at Palmer's event last year when he won his first PGA title since the sex scandal. This year, Woods has already collected triumphs at Torrey Pines and Doral.

With a win, Woods would become the first player to win the same PGA event eight times.

He is already the first to win eight times at the same course after seven PGA titles and the 2008 US Open crown at Torrey Pines.

Thirty-three players completed their rounds on Sunday. They included Masters champion Bubba Watson, who carded a five-under 67 for a four-under total of 284.

Sergio Garcia said he wouldn't be back on Monday, withdrawing after play was suspended.

Before the storm hit Garcia enlivened the day by playing a shot out of a tree near the fairway of the par-four 10th.

Garcia was five-over for the day after a quadruple-bogey, a double-bogey and a bogey along with two birdies in 12 holes.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.