Johnson, Ogilvy, Sabbatini pick up pace at Doral

Zach Johnson

DORAL, Fla. – The desire to finish a round the same day it started is extremely important – especially when sleep is involved.

Of the 66 players that teed off at the WGC-Cadillac Championship Thursday, only 11 finished their round and those that didn’t will have to return at 8:30 a.m. The will then start the second round at 11:20.

All this was due to a 2 hour and 45 minute rain delay that included 55 mph winds that blew down television towers and completely destroyed the 18th hole scoreboard.

Once play resumed it was clear the round would not be completed, which was a concern to many in the field, not only because of the upcoming early tee times, but because the Lakers are in town to play the Heat and many players had tickets.

“Definitely glad we’re done – I get to sleep and might even catch the basketball tonight now and get to get up when ever I want,” Charley Hoffman said. He was one of the lucky ones to finish his round, but was randomly selected to take a drug test afterwards. Even that could not damper his excitement of finishing on Thursday. “I’ll take a drug test over not being finished any day.”

Zach Johnson, Geoff Ogilvy and Rory Sabbatini knew they had a chance to finish when play restarted. So with four holes to go, Johnson suggested to the group that they do what ever is possible to finish the round. It was agreed that whomever hit it closest at the eighth hole would finish out first and race to the ninth tee and hit, so as to finish before the horn sounded.

“It was just sensible thinking,” Ogilvy said of Sabbatini running to the ninth tee and hitting up as the group ahead was still on the green. “Going to eight it became apparent that it was going to be touch and go and Rory got on the green in two and we said just go.”

Johnson took all the credit for the move.

“If I do say so myself, it was absolutely brilliant,” Johnson said. “It was all about sleep, I hugged him (Sabbatini). It was a sleep hug.”

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