Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
The decision to restart the second round of the Players Championship Saturday morning so everyone could compete under lift-clean-place rules did not satisfy everyone. Skip Kendall’s 2-under start was wiped out, and he was not pleased by the decision.
“I beat my brains in for 31⁄2 holes in the rain (Friday), for what?” Kendall said. “Life goes on. I’ll live, but I don’t think it was the right decision.”
Kendall was among the 30 players who teed off Friday and played the ball down before inclement weather halted play after 44 minutes. Kendall completed three holes, as many as anyone else, and was 2 under thanks to an eagle on No. 2. But after the Saturday restart he played those holes in 1 over, a three-stroke difference – and ended up missing the cut by three shots after a pair of 73s.
Players were notified of the decision to restart Round 2 about 20 minutes before the first tee time Saturday. Jesper Parnevik deduced that the announcement came at the 11th hour to avoid an “uproar in the locker room.”
Kendall was among players who expressed surprise that – given rain, wet ground and the forecast – the clean-and-place rule wasn’t inserted before the original second round.
“It was the right decision (to restart),” said Parnevik, who went from 1 under through three holes to 1 over in the restart. “But it was probably the wrong decision to play it down the first time around.”
Tour Policy board member Davis Love III said the tournament probably would have been washed out without clean and place. As it was, 71 players didn’t finish the second round until Sunday.
Joe Ogilvie also started 2 under the first time around, but he wasn’t hurt by the restart. Ogilvie was 3 under through four holes on the restart en route to a 67 that got him to 5-under 139.
“I’m just glad I had a good day,” Ogilvie said. “I would’ve been a little rough around the edges otherwise. When you get a bad break, you don’t want to compound it by having a bad attitude.”
Ogilvie suggested that the Tour dig up the fairways and put in a thick sand base for better drainage if “this is going to be a major championship golf course.” It looks like he’ll get his wish. Commissioner Tim Finchem said new sandy-base drainage would be put in place after the 2006 tournament. Such a system would help prevent delays such as the one Friday and ease issues with clean-and-place and mud on balls.