Cyprus Mail

Zozo Championship finish pushed back to Monday after Friday washout

General view shows heavy rain falling on the green at the Zozo Championship, a PGA Tour event, at Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

The Zozo Championship will finish on Monday, 24 hours later than scheduled, after torrential rain washed out Friday’s play without a shot being struck, tournament officials announced.

Organisers also said Saturday’s rescheduled second round will be played without any spectators in attendance at the Narashino Country Club due to concerns about spectator safety.

The news will be a massive disappointment to the sellout crowd.

Tiger Woods posted his best score in more than a year with a six-under-par 64 in Thursday’s opening round for a share of the lead with fellow American Gary Woodland, one shot in front of home favourite Hideki Matsuyama.

Players had initially been notified that the second round on Saturday would start at 0630 local time (Friday 2130 GMT) but it was then pushed back by three hours after it became clear the course would not be playable at such an early hour.

“Due to safety concerns … the course will unfortunately be closed to all spectators and ticket holders on Saturday as the well-being of our fans is paramount,” the tournament said in a statement.

“Per regulations, PGA Tour officials have determined the event will conclude on Monday, October 28, in order to complete 72 holes.

“At this point, Sunday’s play will be open to spectators who hold Sunday tickets. Spectator and ticket information for Monday will be announced in due course.”

More than six inches (152 mm) of rain was recorded at the course on Friday due to tropical storm Bualoi.

The Zozo Championship is the first official-money PGA Tour event in Japan, and the first time Woods has ever played in the Tokyo area.

Thursday’s play took place in front of huge galleries starved of a chance to see Woods and other top players on a regular basis.

Should Woods win the event, he will equal Sam Snead’s record mark of 82 PGA Tour victories.

This will be Woods’ final start before he selects four players to complete the American line-up for December’s Presidents Cup against an International team in Australia.

Woods will captain the United States and has left the door open to appearing as a playing captain.

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