Tour Championship: How weather is affecting play in Atlanta
UPDATE: Play was suspended for the day just after 7 p.m.. The third round will resume at 9:45 a.m. Sunday.
Lightning strikes in the Atlanta area have once again come too close to East Lake Golf Club, and play has been suspended at the Tour Championship for the second time Saturday.
Play was stopped during the third round at 6:36 p.m. due to a lightning strike about three miles from the golf course, according to PGA Tour official Mark Dusbabek on the NBC broadcast. Play was halted earlier in the afternoon for 58 minutes due to lightning in the area before resuming at 2:25 p.m..
The radar shows this cell developing to the north of the city and moving south toward East Lake. The one that stopped play earlier developed over Downtown Atlanta and slid to the South of the gold course.
The Atlanta-area has had a wet summer, already getting more than six inches of rain this month, as noted on Golf Channel’s broadcast. That’s on top of the 13.29 inches of rain the course received from the last five days of June through the end of July.
No significant rain has fallen at East Lake today and Dusbabek said the Tour is hoping the second delay is short as the storm is “losing intensity.”
The leaders had yet to tee off for the third round when play was suspended earlier Saturday and had their tee time moved back to 4 p.m.. Sunset is 8:05 p.m. tonight.
The tour made the controversial decision to play lift-clean-and-place for the first two rounds due to the aforementioned, but the course had dried out enough to allow players to play the ball down. If there is another delay and rain does fall on the golf course, the ball would continue to be played down until the completion of the round.
The tournament could have issues with weather for the remainder of the afternoon as the National Weather Service is expecting a 30 percent chance of a thunderstorm for the rest of the day, with that chance being mainly after 3 p.m.. Any chance for rain or a thunderstorm is expected to go down significantly by about 7 p.m. Saturday.
The forecast for Sunday also calls for a 30 percent Thunderstorms around 3 p.m., as is typical for Georgia this time of year.