MARANA, Ariz. – If this were about the giant slalom, chances are there wouldn’t be any need for a change to the schedule here at Dove Mountain.
The only thing is, it’s not skiing, it’s golf – and thus have PGA Tour officials been forced to take the extraordinary step to alter plans for the Accenture Match Play Championship. With excessive wind predicted for Saturday and foul weather in the forecast for Sunday morning (would you believe snow?), the schedule now will unfold thusly:
• Saturday morning: Four quarterfinal matches will tee off starting at 7:10 a.m. local time
• Saturday afternoon: Two semifinal matches will begin at approximately 11:45 a.m.
• Sunday afternoon: 18-hole consolation at noon, followed by 18-hole championship match at 12:15 p.m.
Originally, plans had called for four quarterfinal matches to be played Saturday, then two semifinal matches Sunday morning. The championship match and consolation match were going to be played Sunday afternoon.
Officials felt they had to make the moves based on the bizarre weather forecast. They didn’t think it was fair to give up a relatively mild Saturday morning and throw eight players out into high wind Saturday, then put players back out Sunday morning when it could be heavy rain or possibly a slushy snow. Presently, snow is predicted to fall at about 3,000 feet above sea level. Here at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club, we are situated at about 2,400 feet.
The 18-hole championship match had been decided upon many months ago, a change from the 36-hole final that had been in place since the championship debuted in 1999.