The start of the 2013 US PGA Tour became a damp squib but Webb Simpson (pictured) was the player that took advantage of the early playing conditions to post the best score part way through the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Heavy rain and wind in Hawaii meant play was suspended with and all scores were cancelled so the first round begins again on Saturday morning. There had been two previous interruptions due to wind and rain but playing conditions continued to worsen.
The trade winds had been forecast but such rain was not anticipated. The organisers will be hoping to complete 72 holes but a Monday finish does complicate matters. Next week’s tournament runs from the regular Thursday to Sunday so a late finish would inconvenience those who are due to play both opening events.
Simpson had completed 7 holes when play was called off and stood at 3 under par. Only Jonas Blixt of those players to start their rounds was also under par. Six players had yet to tee off and would have had a distinct advantage when play begins on Saturday.
The contingency plan for the tournament is to play two rounds on Saturday. However, the weather forecast was not promising and there is a chance that the event will be curtailed. In that case the winner may not get an official title if insufficient holes are completed.
Steve Stricker is the defending champion and the only former winner in the field. Starting from even again for every player will not affect his chances. The main beneficiary of the decision is Scott Stallings. He gets to start from scratch again after playing his first four holes in seven over par.