'Wind is our biggest concern': Tour braces for bad weather at Pebble

'Wind is our biggest concern': Tour braces for bad weather at Pebble

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – A low pressure system is forecast to dump up to 3 inches of rain on Pebble Beach Golf Links with winds that could gust to 60 mph on Sunday.

PGA Tour officials plan to assess the course and the conditions at 5 a.m. PT on Sunday, and a lengthy delay or complete washout is possible.

“The wind is our biggest concern right now for safety,” said Gary Young, the Tour’s chief referee. “I think we've made pretty good adjustments to green speeds that we could probably keep balls at rest up until about 40 mph. Once we get north of that it's going to be pretty difficult. If we get those rain amounts I'm talking about, that will probably play into the decision as well.”

Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their balls through the first three rounds because of this week’s wet conditions, and there have been issues all week with players not being able to find plugged golf balls.

If players are unable to start the final round on Sunday, the round could be completed on Monday. But officials would only begin the final round on Monday if they had enough time to complete 18 holes.

“The drop-dead time on that would mean we would have to start play on Monday by 10:15 a.m. at the latest in order to complete play,” Young said. “The forecast right now on Monday is for showers in the morning, rain amounts are in the 0.2 to 0.4 inches in the morning.

“We're already dealing with a very soggy golf course and at that point we're making the decision whether or not we think that the standards for professional golf are there.”

Weather is often an issue at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with three of the last six tournaments forced to finish on Monday, including last year’s event.

Because of the winds that are forecast for Sunday, spectators will not be allowed on the course, even if the final round is able to be played. Young also said officials didn’t consider playing more than 18 holes on Saturday because of the field size – 80 players wouldn’t have been able to complete 36 holes in one day.

“Probably the closest we could have come was having nine holes left to play and that would have been in an ideal world,” Young said. “For equity of the competition you would have had players finishing in these conditions and then the others coming back to play nine holes in a completely different condition.”

Wyndham Clark made a charge up the leaderboard Saturday with a 12-under 60 and leads Ludvig Åberg by a shot. The last Tour event that was shortened to 54 holes was the 2016 Zurich Classic.