Pea-soup fog put Tiger Woods’ pursuit of his eighth win at Torrey Pines on hold for at least another day and probably two.
Woods never even got to the course, since, after essentially a day-long interruption, only three players finished one hole of Saturday’s scheduled third round. It was the second time in three weeks that weather wrecked havoc on a PGA Tour event, with thick fog the culprit this time.
After eight hours of delays, officials finally suspended play at the Farmers Insurance Open, set a 10 a.m. ET resumption of competition and expected to complete the tournament on Monday -- weather permitting.
“If Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, we don't have very much control over that,” said Mark Russell, the tour’s VP of competition. “We're going to be out here, ready to play, and see what happens.”
If all goes well -- and that, ironically, would include rain and wind moving in to blow away the dense fog that kept the course in a shroud all day Saturday -- golfers will play as long as daylight allows and finish up on Monday.
This will be the second event of the nascent season slated to spill over beyond its originally scheduled finish. Heavy winds caused the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua to start on Monday, the day it had been slated to end. Officials reduced that event to 54 holes. This time, the 78 players who made the 36-hole cut will play off two tees on Saturday, with a brief break for lunch between rounds.
The last time weather shortened this event to 54 holes was in 1998, but Russell said that would not happen this year.
“We basically, lost the whole day to day. So we'll be back here in position at 7 in the morning, and we're going to play golf all day until dark, and then when it gets dark, we'll suspend play, and we'll come back Monday morning and finish the championship if the weather cooperates,” he said. “That is the plan.”
In addition to the mess the weather was making of the Farmers, 17 players in the field this week were slated to play the Monday qualifier for next week’s Phoenix Open. Among them was Billy Horschel, who will play alongside Woods for the duration at Torrey.
Russell noted that those players would have the latest possible times in Phoenix so they would have a chance to finish up in San Diego and get to the qualifier in time.
While weather woes caused flashbacks to Kapalau, where officials had to wipe out play twice, this time players had completed two rounds before the delays. On Saturday, Hunter Mahan, Robert Garrigus and John Mallinger finished one hole -- the 10th -- before officials halted play after just five minutes.
Russell expected golfers would have to play between nine and 12 holes on Monday.
For Woods, it was something of a deja vu. He won at Torrey Pines in 2005 after fog caused a similar delay.
Golf Channel will pick up the action at 1 pm. ET and run through 2:30 p.m., with CBS going on air between 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.