Hurricane Irene shortens Barclays to 54-hole event

Almost all of the time, weather on the golf course is unpredictable, but when a hurricane is heading to the course that is hosting the first FedEx Cup event of 2011, you can plan for it.

PGA Tour officials did just that, and announced on Friday that the Barclays, already struggling to get golf in due to the weather associated with Hurricane Irene, will be shortened to a 54-hole event, ending on Saturday before the really bad stuff hits.

Commissioner Tim Finchem said they weighed options on finishing Monday or Tuesday, but thought it would mess up scheduling for the coming weeks of playoff golf, so 54 holes was what they went with.

What does this mean?

Pretty much the same for the players. The Barclays, held at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J., started with 125 players, and will be cut to 100 players for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, meaning if you're on the cut line, you better start firing at flags a little earlier than you might have if you had four full days of golf.

The cut will take place after completion of the second round, and tee times for the final round, on Saturday, kick off at 7 a.m. ET. If weather halts play on Saturday, the tournament will be determined after just 36 holes of golf.

And if you are a ticket holder for Sunday at the Barclays? No worries, you'll get free tickets to the 2012 event hosted at the Bethpage Black course, meaning you'll not only get to see the same tournament (and maybe Tiger Woods this time), but you'll get to see the action on a major championship venue.

It's a tough break for the Barclays, but as we've all had happen with us on the golf course one time or another, Mother Nature is the real ranger out there, and if she wants you off the course, you better get a-moving.

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