Storm damage means Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods to start Round 1 on empty course

Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com

Storm damage means Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods to start Round 1 on empty course

Golf

Storm damage means Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods to start Round 1 on empty course

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JERSEY CITY – Thunderstorms rolled through Liberty National Golf Club late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the start of The Northern Trust, bringing heavy wind and rain that damaged some of the tournament structures and hospitality venues.

The PGA Tour called the damage “cosmetic” and said that no one was injured. First-round tee times are scheduled to begin on time at 7 a.m. Thursday. But the gates won’t be opened to fans until 10 am. as “minor maintenance” is completed.

That will lead to an unusual scene Thursday morning, as some of the biggest names in golf will play the first several holes of the FedEx Cup Playoffs with just about nobody watching. That includes Tiger Woods, who is set to tee of at 7:43 a.m., and Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy who will both begin their rounds at 8:16 a.m.

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The golf course was closed Wednesday afternoon at about 5 p.m. because of inclement weather. The remainder of the pro-am was canceled, players were pulled off the course and fans left the grounds.

At around 5:40 p.m., heavy rain and wind battered the course, knocking over several fences near the clubhouse, pulling down some signage in the media center, which swayed dramatically, and causing visible damage to the top of a skybox near the 18th green.

Metal barriers in the players’ parking lot had also been strewn about, with some of them laying on top of courtesy cars after the storm.

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