Golf: Pebble Beach Pro-Am blown off course by high winds

South Korea's An Byeong Hun An walking from the first hole after play was suspended due to high winds on Feb 4, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO – High winds along the California coast forced the postponement of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am midway through the third round on Saturday, with the tournament now scheduled to finish on Monday at Pebble Beach, California.

The third round will resume on Sunday morning and lead into the final round later in the afternoon, but all 72 holes of the tournament are not expected to be played.

It was the first time a PGA Tour event was suspended because of winds since the first round of the 2021 Bermuda Championship.

The last time play at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was suspended by winds was the third round in 2014.

While an amateur champion of the event was set to be decided on Saturday, those competitors – including the likes of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Wales footballer Gareth Bale – will be welcomed back to finish their third and final round on Sunday morning.

For the PGA Tour professionals, the top 65 and ties now will be invited into the final round instead of the expected top 60 and ties.

The tournament is played on three courses – Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Monterey Peninsula Country Club – with the final round to be played exclusively on the famed Pebble Beach course.

Peter Malnati cut through the winds to be on six under after 12 holes at Pebble Beach on Saturday to take the overall lead at 12 under. The winds were recorded as high as 51kmh.

“I got to play eight holes before the weather got bad, so that was nice,” he said. “Pebble’s hard if you’re out of position, but it’s gettable if you’re playing well. I’ve been playing pretty well this week, which is nice.”

Joseph Bramlett and Keith Mitchell were tied for second place at 10 under. Both played at Pebble Beach, with Bramlett two under after 13 holes and Mitchell at two under after 10.

“Just one of those days; you take it as it comes,” Bramlett said. “We got to play Pebble Beach, so it was a blessing in that regard.

“But the weather was wild. It was fairly calm for maybe our first seven, eight holes. Then when we got to nine, it started blowing and then it’s survival mode.”

Hank Lebioda and Kurt Kitayama were tied for fourth at nine under. Both were playing at Spyglass Hill, with Lebioda at one under after 11 holes and Kitayama even par after nine holes.

A group of five who were joint-sixth at eight under included Norway’s Viktor Hovland, a former US Amateur champion who won that title at Pebble Beach in 2018.

According to the CBS broadcast, play was halted after balls on the ninth green at Monterey Peninsula CC were not staying put on the putting surface. That green was being watered by hand before play was halted. Rain and high winds remain in the forecast for Sunday.

“(Sunday) is going to be very difficult in the morning,” Mitchell said. “With the rain, the gusts up to 20(mph/32kmh), it’s going to be tough. But we got to give it our best.

“Then when we restart on Pebble on No. 1 in the next round, everybody will be back on pretty much the same playing field. So I think (that) is going to really say a lot about this tournament.

“Whoever comes out strong in that, wherever they are on any of the three courses, will really determine the rest of the event.” REUTERS

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