The start of the A.T.& T. National was moved back to 1:00pm today as severe storms passed through the area last night. In an effort to prevent fans from being injured the PGA Tour has banned spectators from the course today. Saturday’s tickets will be honored on Sunday. From PGA Tour.com:
Because of a powerful storm that uprooted dozens of trees, including a 75-foot tree that crashed across the 14th fairway, the tournament was closed to spectators and volunteers because of safety concerns.
The third round was delayed six hours. It is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., ET with threesomes going off both tees. (Updated tee times)
The PGA TOUR statement read: “In the interest of safety for our fans and volunteers, the AT&T National is closed to spectators and volunteers for Saturday. The tournament will honor all Saturday tickets on Sunday’s round.”
Mark Russell, the PGA TOUR’s vice president of rules and competition, told the Washington Post that not allowing fans onto the course was a very drastic decision.
“But it’s in their best interests,” Russell said. “… It’s just too dangerous out here. There are a lot of hanging limbs. … We just didn’t think it would be safe to get people out here.”
However, players will not be in any danger, Russell told the newspaper. “Inside the ropes is going to be fine,” Russell said. “The periphery is a mess.”
Television coverage for Saturday’s round will remain as scheduled. The Golf Channel will begin its coverage at 1 p.m. ET, with CBS taking over at 3 p.m.