ATLANTA — At approximately 2:15 p.m. Eastern time, a horn sounded at the East Lake Golf Club and the first round of the 2007 Tour Championship was suspended for inclement weather. Twenty minutes later the skies opened and thunder rolled over the entire Atlanta area.
South Africa’s Tim Clark was in the lead at four under par through 11 holes. His playing partner, Colombia’s Camilo Villegas, was a shot behind at three under, as were Scott Verplank and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.
Tiger Woods had to mark his ball on the first green and will have a 10-foot putt for birdie when play resumes. Steve Striker, playing with Woods, also has a birdie putt waiting for him. Phil Mickelson blocked his drive on the opening hole well left of the fairway and made bogey. He is one over par but has a chance at birdie waiting for him on the second hole, a par 3.
Woods, Stricker and Mickelson lead the FedEx Cup points standings and are competing not only for the Tour Championship but also for $10 million in deferred compensation. Three other players — Rory Sabbatini, K.J. Choi and Aaron Baddeley — have a mathematical chance at the Cup, but their chances are slim.
The first twosome, Heath Slocum and Padraig Harrington, teed off Thursday morning at 11:50 and have completed 12 holes. With rain continuing to fall steadily, it is possible that the first round may not be completed Thursday. Play is expected to resume at 5:20. Sunset in the Atlanta area is at 7:47 p.m.