Heavy fog delayed, and eventually cancelled, third-round play at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego today. Players and spectators marked time and tried to keep busy while PGA Tour officials waited, in vain, for the dense coastal fog clinging to the cliffs of the Torrey Pines Reserve to lift and allow sufficient visibility to allow the tournament to continue.
Play was originally slated to begin at 7:20 AM, but poor visibility prompted tournament officials to delay play for thirty minutes, then an hour, then indefinitely. Brief periods of partial clearing let teasing glimpses of blue sky and sunlight through, and in the early afternoon two groups teed off at the 1st and 10th tees on the Torrey Pines South course, but visibility clamped down again before they were able to finish play on a single hole.
Third round play has been re-scheduled for a 7:00 AM start on Sunday, with hopes of a complete third round and a Monday finish. The delay complicates matters for a number of players in the final field who are scheduled to play in a qualifying tournament for the Waste Management Phoenix Open which is to be held at the McCormick Ranch Golf Club near Phoenix on Monday. PGA officials at the Monday qualifier have rearranged tee times to put players who may be coming from the San Diego-area tournament in the final pairings, giving them time to make the trip from San Diego to the Phoenix area.
Another complication, but one not springing from the fog delay, is the size of the field going into the third round. The nominal size of the field for weekend play in a PGA Tour tournament is seventy. Since ties are inevitable in a golf tournament, the 36-hole cut is to the top seventy and ties, but on those occasions when a large number of players are tied at the cut line, and seventy-eight or more players advance to the third round, a 54-hole cut is made, again to the top 70 and ties.
With nineteen players tied in 69th place at 1-under after thirty-six holes, eighty-seven players advanced to the third round of the Farmers Open. At least nine players will not advance to the final round. Among the players who made the cut on the number who need to move up the leaderboard in the third round are 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman, San Diego hometown favorite Phil Mickelson, and the Bay Area’s James Hahn.