HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., April 15 — There was no golf today, or not much golf, anyhow. Not in Hilton Head, where the flagsticks were bent like old soldiers in a Veterans Day parade. The wind was nasty, and Peter Kostis of CBS, doing a live standup, looked like one of those Weather Channel storm-chasers, standing at the edge of the Gulf when hurricane season comes through the Florida panhandle.
The Scots like to say “Nae win, nae golf,” but on Sunday the wind won. There was a coating of sand on the greens and the traps were nearly bare. On the 18th green, hard by the sea and protected by nothing, you couldn’t keep a ball still. The rules don’t allow you to play a moving ball.
Nobody made it to 18 on Sunday, in what was supposed to be the fourth round of the Verizon Heritage, the tournament the players all call Hilton Head. Some guys played eight holes, starting on 1 and 10. The 54-hole leaders, Jerry Kelly (13 under par) and Kevin Na and Ernie Els (both at 12 under) never made it off the first green on Sunday.
Boo Weekly’s in the mix, two shots behind Kelly. He played one full hole. If Boo could putt, if he could really putt, he’d have some Sunday rounds with Tiger Woods. That’s how good he is with everything else. He’s from the Florida panhandle; he can play in the wind. The winner, whoever it is, will be a good wind player. It’s not dying, not anytime soon.
It was wild on Sunday. Guys were hitting 9-irons on Saturday into the par-3 17th. On Sunday, it would have taken a 3-iron or a 4-iron. One group got that far, and then the day was called. Called on account of wind. You don’t hear that too often. Almost never.
The players and the caddies sat around for nearly three hours as the officials decided what to do. The bags were all lined up in a cart room, all that expensive, beautiful equipment doing nothing, in big bags decorated with the garish colors.
The players, some of them, sat in the cramped and dank locker room and watched moto-cross and NASCAR and women’s golf and a replay of last year’s tournament. Last year the weather was great. Most years in Hilton Head the weather’s wonderful. That’s one of the reasons guys come to Hilton Head. They come with their families and have themselves a good time.
Sunday was windblown and wild and dull, a day-long waiting game. On Sunday, the weather won. Monday morning, 7:45 sharp, the golf is scheduled to resume. Weather permitting.