RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- Play at the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf Tournament was suspended twice Friday morning, but that didn't keep thousands of spectators from coming out to get a look at the pros.
While many fans took shelter from the sideways rain, PGA Rule Official Brian Claar walked the Top of the Rock golf course checking for potential blow-outs in bunkers and "puddling" on the greens.
"Just how playable the course is," says Claar, "And then after that we have to decide how long it will take to get it ready for golf."
Play resumed around 3:30 p.m. Friday, giving players a chance at finishing their rounds.
Claar says one of the challenges of potentially, not finishing play on Friday is the format of the tournament - taking place on two different courses.
"If we didn't finish (Friday) we would tell these guys, we could restart at 8 in the morning," says the Rules Official, "But now instead of being right here, they've got to get in the cars, and drive to Buffalo Ridge and make their tee time."
Claar stays in close contact with the PGA meteorologist, helping to give him a heads up of potential severe weather. Claar says the PGA normally postpones tournaments when lightning gets within 10 to 15 miles of the course.
"These (meteorologists) are our life savers, they've got the best lightning equipment, they tell you, 'it's going to rain in four minutes,' and it does," he says.
Claar says there are too many variables to says if play could be pushed to Monday, a question on the minds of many who were caught in the rain.
"It's too early to tell," says Brian Claar. "By regulation if half of the field finished on Sunday we have to play on Monday. But to back that up we aren't starting play on Sunday just to finish half of the field. They only way we can start is if we know we can finish."
If the tournament cancels play on Sunday, or half of the field doesn't finish, the leaders after the second round could be crowed champions.
At last check, with the PGA meteorologist, it appears players may finish their rounds at both Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge, Friday.
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