x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Fog brings play to abrupt halt at Torrey Pines as Tiger Woods is left waiting

Thick fog allowed just five minutes of play in the Farmers Insurance Open as Tiger Woods' hopes of building on a two-shot lead were left in limbo.

Fog lies across the North Course at Torrey Pines.
Fog lies across the North Course at Torrey Pines.

Tiger Woods' bid for a 75th PGA Tour victory was put on hold for 24 hours when thick fog allowed only five minutes of play in the Farmers Insurance Open third round on Saturday, forcing the event into a Monday finish.

Woods, hoping to build on a two-stroke overnight lead, never even got on the course, and officials said they expect the $6.1 million (Dh22.4m) tournament to finish tomorrow.

Initial tee times were pushed back three hours before play eventually started at Torrey Pines but the action was halted just five minutes later as visibility swiftly deteriorated.

"There is nothing we can do about it," Mark Russell, vice president of rules and competition for the US tour, said. "Hopefully it gets better and we can play some golf."

That didn't happen, and after keeping the players on tap through the afternoon just in case the fog lifted, officials at last announced that the third round would resume on Sunday at 7am (1900 GST).

Although 87 players made the halfway cut, there will be no 54-hole cut.

Even before play was officially called off for the day Russell acknowledged that the tournament appeared to be heading toward a Monday finish.

"We've pretty much lost a whole day right now and it looks like we might have to play Monday," he said as the delay dragged on. "Our regulations say we need to play 72 holes and to do that we might need to go into Monday."

Woods leads the tournament by two shots, having taken control with a superb seven-under-par 65 in rain-sodden conditions during Friday's second round.

A six-times champion in the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, Woods finished at 11-under 133 with little-known American Billy Horschel alone in second after carding a 69.

"I have been out here long enough to know that this is part of the game," Woods said of Saturday's near-washout because of the fog. "I'll be ready to go tomorrow."

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