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Tour pros slug through rain, snow
By wire services
Published April 3, 2005
DULUTH, Ga. - Cold, wind, rain, even a sprinkling of snow left players scrambling for winter clothing in the BellSouth Classic.
Billy Mayfair was 4 under through 13 holes Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the rain-delayed tournament, shortened to 54 holes after the storms wiped out the first two days of play.
"Hit that shot, put on some more clothes, put a ski cap on, gloves on, walk down the fairway, take it all off, hit that shot," said Scott McCarron, the 1997 and 2001 winner who was a stroke behind Mayfair after 3-under 69.
After planning a 36-hole finish Monday to complete 72 holes, PGA Tour official Slugger White said the players will play one round Monday. The forecast for today is for temperatures in the 60s with winds of 10 to 15 mph, and it is expected to be in the low 70s Monday with little wind.
Rain has affected eight of the 14 tournaments on the PGA Tour this year. Last week the Players Championship finished on Monday in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Mayfair was among 63 players who did not finish the round, which will be completed this morning. McCarron, J.L. Lewis and Ted Purdy were the leaders in the clubhouse at 3-under 69, and Brett Quigley and Ryuji Imada also were 3 under. Quigley completed 16 holes, and Imada played 11.
Phil Mickelson, preparing for his title defense next week in the Masters, was 2 over through 15 holes.
"The hardest part is when it's cold and you have delays, it's hard to stay warm," said Mayfair, 38, who wore a stocking cap that covered his ears.
Rain washed out the first two rounds at the TPC at Sugarloaf, postponing the opening round until Saturday. Play began at 7 a.m., with the temperature in the high 30s and wind gusting to 40. Play was suspended for 99 minutes when a quick storm brought rain and snow flurries mid morning.
Rich Beem, who teed off at 7:27 a.m., said it was 38 degrees when he went to the driving range before the round.
"Actually it felt like it was about 22 degrees," said Beem, who shot 70.
EUROPEAN PGA: Paul Lawrie overcame bad weather to shoot 5-under 66 for a one-stroke lead in the third round of the Portugal Open at Cascais. In second was Barry Lane, who completed 15 holes before darkness stopped play. Lane was one of six who didn't complete the round. Overnight leaders Paul Broadhurst and Jose Filipe Lima were 9 under after 15.