Here at the submarine pens known as TPC Louisiana, I’m starting to have my doubts whether they’re ever going to get in enough golf to officially declare a winner of this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Wonder if the tournament is insured?
They’ve managed to get to the halfway point of this year’s event, dragging it through the mud as it were, but still quite an achievement considering these parts have gotten more than three inches of rain since Wednesday.
Saturday was Carl Spackler Day at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Or at least it should have been. So little golf was actually played between the thunder and the lightning and the rain, they needed everyone’s favorite “Caddyshack” character to goose the whole proceeding forward again.
I could see Bill Murray, a real life golf junkie, in his soiled plaid shirt with his floppy hat dangling on a string around his neck, standing in the middle of a new water hazard that formed in the middle of the cart path Saturday behind the 18th hole grandstand. He’d scrunch up his face and stare into the soggy gray sky and wonder where everyone had gone:
“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”
Cue the frog hopping out of a water-filled cup in one of these watery greens.
The pros had other concerns. Trading in their courtesy Lexus vehicles for pirogues, for example. Building a maze of sand bags around world No. 1 Jason Day and daring him to find his way out.
“About four times,” said Jhonattan Vegas to CBS’ Peter Kostis. He was talking not about how many swings he took during the aborted third round — that would be zero — but how many trips he made to the clubhouse buffet table.
“I like to eat, that’s for sure,” Vegas said.
You’ve come to the right place, Jhonny. Feeding folks is what we do best in these parts.
“Getting super fat,” said Jamie Lovemark, tied for second with Vegas a stroke behind Brian Stuard. “We’re watching the (NFL) draft, some golf, hanging out. There’s not much going on.”
The Scots, who built this game to withstand the lashing gales off the North and Irish seas that rake their homeland, have a saying about “bad” golfing weather:
“Nae wind, nae rain, nae golf.”
But on this Saturday, even the hardiest Scotsman would have chucked his clubs in the locker and headed for the comfort of a nice, dry pub.
That might be just the plan for Stuard, who’s never won a PGA Tour event.
In NASCAR races, if there’s weather boiling in the area, the crew of the driver that’s leading practically starts doing a rain dance on pit row once said race crosses the halfway point with enough laps to make it official. Unfortunately, if this rain-soaked event doesn’t go 54 holes, Stuard won’t get an official win, though he would get the $1.26 million first-prize check.
Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Stuard.
Maybe if they can’t wring 18 more holes out of this surprisingly resilient course, they can come up with some other ways of deciding a winner, or at least a way of entertaining the soggy patrons:
Raft building, with Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh.
Alligator surfing, with Danny Lee and Angel “El Pato” Cabrera (“El Pato” means The Duck in Spanish).
Cocktail mixing, using real rainwater of course, with Bronson Burgoon and Billy Horschel (we would have nominated Aussie Ryan Ruffels, but he’s only 18).
Competitive eating with Vegas and Lovemark.
How about heading over to one of the casinos across the river and high card wins?
Seriously, it’s a shame about the weather this week. When you’re here on the ground, sitting out the weather delays with the tournament organizers and volunteers and workers, you realize what an enormous effort goes into putting together a sprawling sporting event like this. A sporting event that has to contend with its blessing and curse spot on the PGA Tour schedule halfway between the Masters and The Players and vying for attention with Jazz Fest.
Of course, Jazz Fest got washed out, too, on Saturday. For a time it was a decent bet that Snoop Dogg would come blowing through the cypress trees on the storm front.
For the sake of the golf fans and the music fans, hopefully there are a few holes in the clouds Sunday.
Even if not, remember Carl Spackler’s not so wise words:
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.