Tiger Woods to start Northern Trust gallery-free as storm delays fans’ entrance

August 8, 2019

The last two days of The Northern Trust were marred by batches of storms rolling through the area, and the latest one will cause Thursday’s opening round at Liberty National to be gallery-free for most of the morning.

Storms forced Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J., to close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but the wind and rain caused damage to some of the tournament’s infrastructure and hospitality venues. With that the Tour decided to delay the time the public gates will open on Thursday so crews can make the minor repairs necessary. Gates will now open at 10 a.m. ET instead of 7 a.m. Tee times will go off as scheduled.

“We’re an outdoor sport, so Mother Nature is bound to show up and change our well-laid plans on occasion,” said Julie Tyson, the executive director of The Northern Trust. “We’re grateful that no one was injured and that damage was cosmetic and replaced.”

This all means Tiger Woods, who begins his opening round off the 10th tee at 7:43 a.m., will play about half his round without the usual crowd hovering over him.

Woods is making his first start since his missed cut at the Open Championship. He played nine holes on Tuesday but only putted and chipped for most of the back nine during the Wednesday Pro-Am due to a stiff back.

“I can’t practice as much as I would like,” he said. “Certainly can’t even sniff how much I used to practice. So that’s a challenge, and trying to build up to events is more difficult. Now we have a new season where it’s condensed.”

Woods is grouped with Scott Piercy and J.T. Poston for the first two rounds.