MADISON, Miss. (AP) — PGA Tour officials were weighing whether to cancel the Viking Classic after it was postponed for the second straight day due to heavy rain and poor course conditions.
The tournament could be postponed until next week or even shortened to 36 holes and started as late as Tuesday, but those scenarios grew more unlikely as a fresh round of thunderstorms continued to drench central Mississippi on Friday.
“It’s just a mess,” said Slugger White, the PGA’s vice president for rules and competition. “If we get this rain (today), I don’t know when this place will dry.”
Shortly after White spoke, temperatures dropped 15 degrees and heavy rain began to fall as a cold front began to move through the area. Skies are supposed to start clearing on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean Annandale Golf Club will have a course that’s ready to play.
It’s already saturated after two months of steady rain, and players reported standing water and large areas of mud.
Weather hasn’t forced the cancellation of a PGA Tour event since April 1991 in Houston. And officials haven’t had to postpone consecutive rounds since the first two days of the 2005 BellSouth Classic, which was scaled back to 54 holes.
The fairways at Annandale are so waterlogged, White said six to seven holes would have to be shortened from par 4s to par 3s because of fairway conditions.
The tournament could be moved to next weekend or rescheduled, White said, but that ruling would have to come from Commissioner Tim Finchem.
It’s an important event for several players fighting to get inside the top 125 on the money list and keep their exempt status for next year. There’s only one more tournament left after the Viking Classic this season.