Phoenix Open notes: Here comes a Monday championship - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Phoenix Open notes: Here comes a Monday championship

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Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 7:00 pm | Updated: 5:36 pm, Fri Nov 18, 2011.

Probably the most controversial moment of Friday's play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was when the Golf Channel went on the air and talked about a rare Monday finish for the golf tournament.

Shortly thereafter, PGA Tour officials announced that no decision had been made on when the tournament would finish and that the decision may very well be made Saturday.

About one hour after that announcement, PGA Tour officials announced that there would, indeed, be a Monday finish to the tournament.

Golfers played until dark on Friday and will do the same on Saturday and Sunday. But that still won't leave enough time during the day to finish the 72-hole tournament on time.

"We'd certainly welcome the opportunity to finish on Sunday, but that's not going to happen," tournament chairman Mike McQuaid said. "It's really out of our control. We'll start the fourth round on Sunday and play as far as we can."

Frigid temperatures froze the golf course and forced hours of delays on both Thursday and Friday forcing play to be moved back to Monday.

It will be the first time since 1978, when the tournament was held at Phoenix Country Club, that the finish will be moved to a Monday.

McQuaid said the tournament officials and the PGA Tour even discusses shortening the tournament to 54 holes. Ultimately it was a PGA Tour decision and they want 72 hole tournaments.

McQuaid said admission will be free for Monday's finish and there will not be any hospitality tents open or alchohol available. But the small concession stands will be open.

Two-timer

Maybe this two gloves thing is the way to go in these cold temperatures.

Tommy Gainey, nicknamed "two gloves" because he wears golfing gloves on both hands, fired a career-best round of 8-under-par 63, to take the first round lead on Friday afternoon.

It is the first time in his career Gainey had held a lead after any round on the PGA Tour. In his previous three starts this season Gainey has not made a cut. Gainey is playing the PGA Tour this year as a Nationwide Tour graduate.

Confusion

It may have been a bit confusing watching the golf on Friday at the TPC Scottsdale. For an extended period of time during the afternoon there were golfers still completing their first round while other golfers were starting their second round.

Dustin Johnson, in second place after a first round score of 7-under-par 64 after, had only a few minutes between last hole of the first round and his first hole of the second round.

First-round leader Tommy Gainey was 10 minutes late for his second-round starting time, but he still hadn't finished his first round. He was not penalized. Players were signing scorecards, hustling to the locker room to grab a to-go sandwich or snacks and heading to their first tee.

Long days

When Friday's play ended at 6 p.m. Mark Wilson and Tommy Gainey were the co-leaders at 11-under-par. Wilson had played 14 holes of his second round and Gainey 16 holes.

Wilson has no problems handling the long days of golf. He's won already this year getting a victory at the Sony Hawaii Open in January.

Because of rain early in the week he played 36 holes on Sunday.

Incognito

If you haven't seen Lucas Glover you would not recognize the former U.S. Open Champion. Glover is sporting a rather thick beard at this week's open. Between that and the beanie hat he had over his long hair, Glover almost unrecognizable. Good thing his name is on his bag.

Crowds

The huge crowds that are normally associated with the tournament have yet to arrive. Thank chilly Mother Nature for that. Friday's announced crowd was 74,723, down from the 101, 709 that attended day two in 2010.

Day off

Because of the long delays, 64 golfers didn't even start their second round on Friday. Among the notables were: Phil Mickelson (67), Tom Lehman (66), Bill Haas (66) and Rickie Fowler (70).

Most were found at the TPC Scottsdale practice facility at some point in the day working on their games. Other stayed completely away from the golf course.

No Spiderman

After an opening-round of 78, Camilo Villegas withdrew because of a sore back.

"I first felt some tightness last week, but the colder temperatures here this week have affected it," Villegas said. "It's early in the season and I want to be careful not to do something that could affect me long term."

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