As you might expect in St. Louis in August, storms came for the PGA Championship. This was always going to be a factor. It is in many areas of the country in August. But it was always a significant threat in St. Louis, given the climate. It poured through the practice days and then after a clean Thursday, the second round on Friday afternoon came to an abrupt halt.
At 4:35 p.m. ET, play was suspended with lighting getting close to Bellerive. The PGA of America’s chief championships officer, Kerry Haigh, said at the time that the hope was they’d get an hour or two of more golf in Friday night. The storms, however, were too severe, hammering Bellerive with a downpour of rain and even hail at times. They came in a couple different waves and it became pretty clear early on that we were done for the day. So around 6 p.m., the PGA sent the players home.
The plan for Saturday is to resume the second round at 8 a.m. ET (or 7 a.m. local in St. Louis) and hustle to finish up before Noon ET. The last groups of the second round are through just four holes, which would leave them about three and half hours left in the second round.
The PGA will then make the cut, wait 30 minutes, and start the third round with the remaining field going off split tees in groups of three. Those split tee times are approximately scheduled for 12:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET. The benefit of split tees is that it condenses the entire field down into a two-hour block, not some day-long tee sheet. That’s often the measure taken when weather disrupts or threatens play on the weekend, when you’re supposed to have groups off two all rolling off No. 1 tee.
The good news is the weather looks good for Saturday, with 0 percent chance of rain during the daylight hours. The harsher news is that it’s going to be an interminable day at the PGA Championship. To review, here’s the tentative schedule for Saturday at the PGA:
- 8 a.m. ET — 2nd round resumes (TV coverage on TNT until 2 p.m. ET switch to CBS)
- approx 11:30 a.m. ET — 2nd round finishes
- approx. 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET — 3rd round tee times off No. 1 and 10 tees in groups of three
- approx. 7 p.m. ET — third round finish on CBS
If all goes according to plan, we’ll be back on track for Sunday with 54 holes complete well before dark on Saturday in St. Louis.