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Rain delays opportunity for Sergio Garcia to end drought
GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s been four years since Sergio Garcia’s last PGA Tour victory. He’ll have to wait one more day before he can try to finish this one off.
And a downpour at the Wyndham Championship meant another day of uncertainty for others on the playoff bubble.
Garcia had the lead at 15 under through four holes Sunday when the final round in the last event before the FedEx Cup playoffs was suspended for the day because of heavy rain.
Tim Clark, Jason Dufner and Bud Cauley were 14 under through varying stages of their rounds, and 38 players — half the field — still were on the course when play was stopped.
After waiting roughly 2 hours, 20 minutes, officials decided to bring them back to Sedgefield Country Club at 9 a.m. Monday to crown a champion and figure out who qualifies for the playoffs and who doesn’t. It will be the first Monday finish in Greensboro since 1983.
Tour officials said more than 2 inches of rain fell on the course since Saturday night, and Mark Russell, the tour’s vice president of rules and competition, said the 15th hole became “unplayable.”
The stoppage came at 3:10 p.m. when the showers picked up, and it was expected to be only a brief delay, with the players initially staying on the course. Officials reversed that decision and brought them in a short while later.
Then, when the initially announced restart time of 5 p.m. was pushed back twice — first to 5:30 p.m., then 6 p.m. — it made it virtually impossible for the final pairing to finish 14 holes in the roughly 2 hours of remaining daylight and guaranteed a Monday finish.
The decision to suspend the tournament was announced at 5:28 p.m.
“It started raining and just wouldn’t stop. The golf course got to the point where it was saturated,” Russell said. “We got to a point where we knew we couldn’t finish … so we made a decision that we would let it drain tonight, come back in the morning and be in position to resume play at 9 o’clock.”
A bogey on the par-5 fifth — the most frequently eagled hole on the course — dropped him back a stroke, and he was in the fairway on No. 6 when the rain delay came.
“Obviously, we’d all like to continue playing,” Clark said. “You get into a rhythm out there, and you’d like to keep going. But it’s going to be the same for all of us. It’s just a tough situation.”
Garcia began the day at 14 under and had three pars and a birdie on the par-3 third. He was preparing for a 40-yard chip when play stopped.
Garcia, who hasn’t won on tour since the 2008 Players Championship, also wants a spot on the European Ryder Cup team. The 10 automatic qualifiers will be set following the Johnny Walker Invitational, with Jose Maria Olazabal making two captain’s picks.
By John R. Bolton
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