SAN DIEGO – The sun was shining; the winds were light and there was no chance dark clouds would form and start dumping rain.
Still, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their ball during Thursday’s first round of the Famers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
It has everything to do with what Mother Nature is going to tee up for Friday’s second round. After a spectacular day of sunshine and light winds at this seaside resort, where two courses are in play for the first two rounds, conditions are expected to turn nasty starting just around midnight.
Rain – heavy at times – is going to start falling and not let up until, hopefully, Friday afternoon. Winds are expected to speed up as well. There’s also a chance of thunderstorms hitting the area late Friday morning. One to two inches of rain is expected and localized flooding is possible.
Thus, the forecast moved officials to allow lift, clean and place for both the first and second rounds. It’s the fair thing to do; the South Course (which was used for the 2008 U.S. Open and will be in play this summer when the U.S. Open returns to Torrey Pines) is a tad tougher than the North, so this way all players will be able to lift, clean and place on both courses.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to not get too flooded during the night,” Alex Noren said after grabbing a share of the lead with Patrick Reed with an 8-under-par 64 on the North.
Ryan Palmer, who shot 6-under 66 on the South, said his goal was to play a solid round in Thursday’s ideal conditions because of what’s on the horizon.
“Knowing what the weather conditions are going to hold for tomorrow, it was huge,” Palmer said. “A lot of low scores considering the conditions were so perfect today, but it’s huge, especially when you’re going to have some winds and rain and there’s going to be a lot of high numbers tomorrow probably with what the weather’s forecasting. Tomorrow’s a day of survival.”
Eighty-seven of the 156 players in the field broke par in the first round, with 47 breaking 70. If the forecast holds, those low scores will not be seen come Friday.
“I think anytime you shoot 68 on the South Course here you’ve got to be pretty happy,” Rory McIlroy said after posting that score. “It’s a good start. We don’t know what the weather’s going to be like tomorrow, so it was nice to get a good one in and play on the slightly easier golf course in the worse conditions tomorrow. I’m pretty happy with the start.”
Players will be happy with the weekend weather. Once the storm cell blows through, the sun and light winds are expected to return Saturday and Sunday.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/28/pga-tour-farmers-insurance-open-nasty-weather/