We could not get through the first month of the year without needing a Monday finish on the PGA Tour. While the tour winds through Hawaii, the West Coast and Florida throughout the first quarter, the weather is still always dicey and we've seen high winds, floods, snow, frost and thunderstorms disrupt some of these early season events.
The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines usually evades any major delays. The first two days are played on two courses when the field is larger, and a delay would throw the schedule off significantly. The marine layer, or heavy fog, that moves in off the cliffs of La Jolla has been the biggest weather challenge and it was a primary reason this event had to wrap up on a Monday three years ago, when Tiger Woods cruised to another dominant win on the South Course. This weather delay, however ... this was something else entirely different for the San Diego-area venue.
Saturday's round started earlier than normal, with the players grouped into three split tees in an attempt to finish up before forecasted high winds arrived late in the afternoon. But it was brutal right from sunrise and what followed was a day of constant starts and stops until it was finally called for good at 6:30 p.m. ET (the players had been pulled off the course about 90 minutes prior). It was a miserable day and the scores reflected that.
Torrey’s final round on pace to become one of the toughest non-major rounds in the last 25 years (via @JustinRayGC) pic.twitter.com/HrtGh7qmVU— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) February 1, 2016
Brandt Snedeker somehow posted a 3-under 69 and got into the clubhouse just one shot off the current lead of 7-under, which could come down again on Monday with more high winds in the forecast. It's just the first month of the season, but relative to par and in these conditions, Snedeker's round will almost certainly be the round of the year.
Brandt Snedeker: -3 today— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) February 1, 2016
The other 70 players: +377
Snedeker appropriately captured the atmosphere by saying it was like playing in British Open conditions on a US Open layout. That's not an enjoyable combo, and it was ugly. Colt Knost hit a tee shot at the third hole and had no idea where it was going. He still somehow ended up with a miracle birdie.
Colt Knost's crazy birdie putt is even better when you listen to his tee shot. #QuickHits https://t.co/XUnv7BiZPa— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 31, 2016
The rain would come and go, but the wind was always there and then it got worse after what would be the final horn of the day. The gusts topped out at 50-55 mph and they evacuated the media center.
Trees were down all around the course and in the La Jolla area. It was a mess and not close to playable.
The winds aren't exactly letting up for Monday's finish. It's still supposed to blow around 30 to 35 mph, so the tour decided to close the course to fans and volunteers. The only people on site will be different tournament officials, the players, caddies and media. The restart is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. local) and Golf Channel will carry the coverage.
Jimmy Walker currently leads at 7-under, playing in the last group out on the course with eight more holes to go. The finish should take up about a two-hour window on Golf Channel. A caveat, however, is that we may be in for more delays if the winds get too extreme, and starting on time may be stretch with what some are saying will be a significant cleanup job.
UPDATE: The original restart time of 11 a.m. ET has already been pushed back an hour to Noon. Golf Channel will have the coverage then, and PGA Tour Live will also now stream it online as well.
UPDATE NO. 2: We have another one-hour delay. The hopeful start time is now 1 p.m. ET -- as you can see, there's quite a bit of cleanup work to be done and that's the reason for the continued push back.
If you're stuck at work, Golf Channel will have their simulcast stream running on LiveExtra. Details for Monday's schedule (All times ET)
Monday's final round coverage
Tee times: 1 p.m. -- Resumption of play with 48 players still on the course and the leaders still having eight holes to play.
1 p.m. to ~3 p.m. -- Golf Channel
1 p.m. to ~3 p.m. -- Golf Channel LiveExtra simulcast stream
1 p.m. to ~3 p.m.. -- Final round coverage also streamed on PGA Tour Live (no subscription needed)
1 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 92/208 and streamed here)