Rain continues to mess with Bell-South Classic

Posted: Sunday, April 03, 2005

DULUTH, Ga. — Cold, wind, rain and a sprinkling of snow left players scrambling for winter clothing in the BellSouth Classic.

Billy Mayfair was 4 under through 13 holes Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the rain-delayed tournament, shortened to 54 after the stormy conditions wiped out the first two days of play.

''Hit that shot, put on some more clothes, put a ski cap on, gloves on, walk down the fairway, take it all off, hit that shot,'' said Scott McCarron, the 1997 and 2001 winner who was a stroke behind Mayfair after a 3-under 69.

After originally planning a 36-hole finish Monday to complete 72 holes, PGA Tour official Slugger White said the players will play only a single round Monday. The forecast for Sunday is for temperatures in the 60s with 10-15 mph wind, and it is expected to be in the low 70s Monday with little wind.

''Well, unfortunately, we have exhausted everything to play 72 holes. It just won't work,'' White said.

''I tell you what, this is awful,'' he said of the conditions.

Rain has affected eight of the 14 tournaments on tour so far this year. Last week, The Players Championship also finished on a Monday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Mayfair was among 63 players who did not finish the round, which will be completed Sunday morning.

McCarron, J.L. Lewis and Ted Purdy were the leaders in the clubhouse at 3-under 69, and Brett Quigley and Ryuji Imada also were 3 under. Quigley completed 16 holes, and Imada played 11.

Phil Mickelson, preparing for his title defense next week in the Masters, was 2 over through 15 holes.

''The hardest part is when it's cold and you have delays, it's hard to stay warm,'' said Mayfair, who wore a stocking cap that covered his ears.

The 38-year-old Mayfair, a five-time winner in his PGA Tour career, had four birdies in his abbreviated round.

''I made four birdies and they all were between 10 and 20 feet,'' he said. ''I made some nice putts.''

Rain washed out the first two rounds at the TPC at Sugarloaf, postponing the opening round until Saturday. Play began at 7 a.m., with the temperature in the high 30s and wind gusting to 40 mph.

Play was suspended for 99 minutes when a quick-moving storm brought rain and snow flurries at mid-morning.

Portugal Open

CASCAIS, Portugal — Scotland's Paul Lawrie shot a 5-under 66 in rainy and windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead in the rain-suspended third round of the PGA European Tour's Portugal Open.

Lawrie, the 1999 British Open winner at Carnoustie, had an 11-under 202 total on the oceanside Oitavos course. England's Barry Lane was 10 under through 15 holes when play was suspended.

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