Rain keeps leaders away at BMW Championship
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Jim Furyk will have to wait one more day to try to end three years without a PGA Tour victory.
The final round of the BMW Championship was suspended Sunday because of steady rain that left too much water on Conway Farms. Furyk, who has a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker, was still about two hours away from even teeing off.
“The bad news — obviously, I’m anxious to get out there and play, as is everyone else,” Furyk said. “But the good news is no one wants to go out and play in this and slop it around in bad weather on a golf course where we’re playing the ball down and it’s probably a little too wet out there.”
Rory McIlroy found one small consolation to the end of his PGA Tour season — he was one of six players who finished. McIlroy had yet another double bogey — that’s 12 double bogeys and a triple bogey in three FedEx Cup playoff events — but holed out from 164 yards for eagle on the 12th hole and had his second straight 68.
It was the first time he had back-to-back rounds in the 60s in the same tournament this year on the PGA Tour.
Furyk was at 13-under 200 and in the final group with Stricker. Brandt Snedeker was two shots behind at 202, followed by Zach Johnson at 203 and Tiger Woods at 204. Woods was penalized two shots on Friday when his ball moved as he was removing a small branch next to it behind the first green.
Dustin Johnson closed with a 72 and had to wait to make sure no one bumped him out of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup, which would keep him from the Tour Championship. Johnson tried to hit 3-wood into the par-5 18th green and produced two splashes — one from water getting between the club face and the ball, the other when the ball came down well short and into a creek.
“It just came out dead,” he said.
Everyone else was to return to Conway Farms on Monday morning and act like Sunday never happened.
“I think we got the better end of the deal by not even playing in it,” Stricker said.
Slugger White, the vice president of rules and competition for the PGA Tour, said the forecast was for a half-inch of rain over six hours, which would not have been enough for water to accumulate. Instead, there was an inch of rain and so much water that there would have been no place to take relief from casual water. The problem holes were Nos. 3, 9, 10 and 12.
“Casual water was going to take us to where we couldn’t play,” White said.
The tour chose to play the ball down, meaning players could not lift, clean and replace their golf balls through the green. Play was stopped for 3½ hours in the late morning, and then it was called again for good after the round resumed for just under an hour.
Of the 48 players who at least teed off, none were within 10 shots of the lead when they started.
Even so, the conditions were difficult for those who still had something at stake. Charles Howell III started the week at No. 31 in the FedEx Cup standings. He was 1 over through four holes. Rickie Fowler had a chance to get into the top 30 and advance to the Tour Championship. He shot 77 in the first round and bounced back with a pair of 68s. Fowler was 2 under through four holes Sunday.
The final round was to resume at 8 a.m. with a reasonable forecast.