PGA Tour

New Japan PGA Tour event to finish Monday after weather delay

2019-10-25 15:03
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods (Getty Images)

Inzai  - The PGA Tour's inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan will finish on Monday after the second round was postponed on Friday because of a violent rainstorm with Tiger Woods and Gary Woodland leading the 78-player event.

Roads were flooded, highways closed and train services to nearby Narita International Airport suspended as the fringes of a powerful Pacific typhoon swept through the region 80km north-east of Tokyo.

"Due to the amount of rain which Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club received on Friday, round two of the Zozo Championship is now scheduled to run between 09:30-11:30, local time on Saturday (02:30-04:30 SA time)," said a statement issued on Friday night by the PGA Tour.

"More than six inches of rain was recorded at the venue on Friday."

Safety concerns mean that the course will be closed to spectators for Saturday's round, the statement added, in a huge blow to organisers of the sellout event, the PGA Tour's first ever venture into golf-crazy Japan.

Per regulations, the event will conclude on Monday, in order to complete 72 holes, the statement said.

Tickets for the championship have been sold out and spectators have been advised to monitor the tournament website for information on ticketing.

"At this point, Sunday's play will be open to spectators who hold Sunday tickets," organisers said.

"Spectator and ticket information for Monday will be announced in due course."

Friday's play was cancelled half an hour before the scheduled 07:00 start after overnight showers turned heavy at the venue in Chiba Prefecture.

"The golf course has already taken on four-tenths of an inch of rain, so it has actually reached the point of saturation and it's become unplayable," said Gary Young, PGA Tour vice-president of rules and competitions.

Masters champion Woods got off to a terrible start on Thursday before roaring back with nine birdies in 15 holes to share the lead with US Open champion Woodland.

Three over after three holes, Woods stormed back in stunning fashion for a six-under round of 64 and already had one eye on the weather and the possibility of play being extended.

"We're going to have a long, long weekend of a lot of golf. Hopefully I can keep it going," said the 15-time major winner.

The American duo will head into the delayed second-round with a one-shot lead over home favourite Hideki Matsuyama.

Woods's 64 was the lowest season-opening round of his long career and came as the 43-year-old chases an 82nd PGA Tour victory to tie the all-time record held by Sam Snead.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell from Northern Ireland withdrew after slumping to a first round 11-over par 81 on Thursday. The 2010 US Open winner did not a give a reason for pulling out, but had been battling a wrist injury earlier this season.

The Zozo Championship offers a $9.75 million prize pot as the middle leg of the Tour's new megabucks Asian swing.

It began last week at the $9.75 million CJ Cup in South Korea, won by Justin Thomas, and concludes at next week's $10.25 million WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  zozo championship  |  tiger woods  |  golf


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