Japan PGA Tour event closes course to fans; Tiger Woods in hunt for what will be Monday finish
Inzai City, Japan — Organizers of the PGA Tour’s first tournament in Japan have taken the unusual step of closing the course to spectators for Saturday’s second round and extending the tournament until Monday because of torrential rainfall and flooding in the area.
Rain washed out the second round of the Zozo Championship on Friday. Organizers originally rescheduled the second round for Saturday with tee times running from 6:30-8:30 a.m.
Torrential rain caused flooding and mudslides Friday in towns east of Tokyo, leaving one dead and two missing and expanding damage in areas still recovering from recent typhoons.
More than six inches of rain was recorded at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on Friday.
“Due to safety concerns, PGA Tour officials have announced the course will unfortunately be closed to all spectators and ticket holders on Saturday as the well-being of our fans is paramount,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.
The second round is now scheduled to run between 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
PGA Tour officials have determined the event will conclude on Monday in order to complete 72 holes. As of now, Sunday’s play will be open to spectators who hold Sunday tickets.
Tiger Woods was tied with Gary Woodland after both players shot 64 in the opening round on Thursday.
Woods is making his first start in his 23rd season on the PGA Tour, needing one victory to reach 82 wins and tie the career record held by Sam Snead.
The Zozo tournament is part of three tournaments that make up the PGA Tour’s Asia Swing, including the CJ Cup in South Korea won last week by Justin Thomas and the HSBC Champions in Shanghai next week.
In Busan, South Korea, American Danielle Kang shot her second consecutive 5-under 67 for a one-stroke lead Friday at the Buick Ladies Championship, putting her in a strong position to win her second tournament in two weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Kang, who won last week’s tournament at Shanghai, had seven birdies and two bogeys for a two-round total of 10-under 134 on the LPGA International Busan course.
Hee Won Na of South Korea birdied two of her final three holes for a 67 and was tied for second place with Seung Yeon Lee (68).
Four players were tied for fourth, including No. 1-ranked Jin Young Ko (69) and first-round leader Minjee Lee of Australia, who had a 70.
American Nelly Korda shot 70 and was at 5-under.
American Kristen Gillman aced the 13th hole and will have to make arrangements to collect her BMW car, the prize on that hole, on her way to a 71 and a two-round total of 3-under 141. The LPGA Tour said it was Gillman’s first hole-in-one in competition.