The leaderboard at the Milton Martin Honda Classic didn’t change much on Saturday, mainly because there weren’t many golfers on the course.
The third round of the NGA Tour stop at Chattahoochee Golf Course did not begin as scheduled due to the rain that swept through Gainesville early in the day. The original 7:45 a.m. tee time was continuously pushed back until 3 p.m., when tournament officials elected to completely postpone the round until today.
“All the water just filters in the mounds, and on 18 and 9 we squeegeed for probably about two hours trying to get it try enough to finish those two holes,” NGA Tour Director of Operations Donald Davis said. “We kept pushing it back and pushing it back until we felt it was time to go.”
Because of the setback, today’s round will be the final 18 holes of the tournament, with tee times starting at 8:30 this morning. Start times will be postponed again if weather is still unsuitable for play.
With chances of rain as high as 90 percent in the forecast, tournament officials are keeping a close watch on course conditions.
“If it stays dry, we’ll probably be going at 8:30 in the morning,” Davis said. “If it’s raining then we might be a little skeptical.”
The situation compares to that of last year’s tournament, which also ended early due to inclement weather. Fewer than the required minimum of 36 holes were played before the event was suspended and a champion was not declared.
Davis said the tour has the option of playing the final round Monday, but that it would be unlikely.
The only golfers that did play Saturday were the seven pairings that did not finish their second round on Friday due to darkness. Many of them were playing to slip past the cut, which was 6-over after two rounds.
As a result, the top of the leaderboard remained mostly the same. Daniel McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y., remains the leader heading into the third round with a 5-under 139 through the first two days. He shot a 69 in the second round, one stroke lower than his three-bogey Round 1.
Seth Fair of Fishers, Ind. trails at 4-under, followed by Will McCurdy at 3-under. Trent Whitekiller of Sallisaw, Okla. and Chris Wolfe of Warner Robins are tied for third at 2-under.
Stephen Grant of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., one of the players who returned Saturday to finish his second round, fell from a tie for the lead after the first round to a tie for 14th after battling the elements to card a 76. His back-nine score was unaffected by the rain, however, as he shot a 38 with a pair of bogeys on both halves of the course.