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First Round of Hyundai Tournament of Champions Washed Out
PGA Tour officials decided to cancel the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions after powerful squalls off the Pacific Ocean continued to sweep across the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii, on Friday.
The announcement was made at 7:15 EST by Tour official Slugger White, who noted such a total round cancellation had happened before, but the situation was unusual. White told a Golf Channel reporter that the round - the first of the year on the PGA Tour, "Started in unplayable conditions and it didn't improve."
White added "there were 25 to 42 mph winds. We tried to play but Mother Nature didn't cooperate."
The first round will re-start Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Hawaii time (12:30 p.m. EST). Unfortunately, Saturday's forecast is for more unfavorable weather with rain and high winds.
Before play was called off in the $5.7 million tournament reserved only for the previous year's winners, Webb Simpson was a remarkable 3-under par through seven holes. But the North Carolinian will have to start from scratch just like the other 29 players in the field.
"It stinks for me," said the 2012 U.S. Open champion, who had three birdies before leaving the course for the shelter of the clubhouse. "But that's the way it goes. The good news is that I'm playing well and hope I do again tomorrow."
Scott Stallings, who won the True South Classic last July, was at the other end of the abbreviated leaderboard at 7-over through four holes after carding a par, bogey, quadruple-bogey and double-bogey. "Obviously, I was thrilled (when the Tour made the announcement). It was a tough decision for the Tour.
"I feel for the Tour - it was pretty miserable out there," added the 27-year-old from Massachusetts. "I can't believe Webb was 3-under par."
Ten players - Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson, Tommy Gainey, Charlie Beljan, Bill Haas, Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker and defending champion Steve Stricker - didn't even have a chance to put a mark on their scorecard before the round was wiped out.