With rain expected, tee times moved up
A storm’s coming. On Friday. And it will likely impact the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. On Thursday, organizers move up Friday’s tee times by two hours across the board because of bad weather that’s expected in the morning. The first match — Danny Willett vs. Russell Knox, in Group 11 — was moved up from a 9:30 start to 7:30, and so on. The Austin Country Club gates will open at 7:15 a.m.
Wade Stettner, a meteorologist who works with the PGA Tour, said a weak cold front will move into Austin around 10 a.m. That’s when the rains are expected to arrive. Play will automatically be suspended if there’s a lightning strike with 6 miles of the course, Stettner said.
He added that there’s about a 50 percent chance of lightning Friday, but that the storms won’t be severe.
The rain is not expected to last very long, and if play is suspended, it probably will be for two hours. Moving the tee times up meant Friday’s rounds could still finish on time in case there is a delay.
After the rain passes through Austin — Stettner said less than one-quarter of an inch is expected — temperatures will rise to the low 80s. The sky will clear. The sun will shine. And golf will resume. Vegas wins: Jhonattan Vegas followed up his stellar play Wednesday with another solid round Thursday. There were a few differences in his first two rounds. He had three birdies on Wednesday. He had five on Thursday. Two bogeys on Wednesday. Three on Thursday.
But perhaps the biggest difference between the two days? Vegas lost Wednesday. He won Thursday.
Vegas beat Thomas Pieters 3 and 1. After going toe-to-toe with Bubba Watson on Wednesday, playing all 18 holes, Vegas won his match against Peters on the 17th hole.
“Obviously, this course isn’t about hitting it far, it’s about creating the best angles you can to some of these greens,” Vegas said. “Some of these greens are so hard, so complicated, you need to be in the right position. I felt like I did that a little better than (Pieters) did today.”
Vegas, who graduated from Texas in 2007, now needs some help to advance in the tournament. On Friday, Watson will be matched with Pieters, and Vegas will go up against Scott Piercey. Vegas must beat Piercey and then needs Watson to lose to Pieters. It’s going to be tough for someone to beat Watson (2-00), especially the way he’s been playing lately. But Vegas (1-1-0) isn’t too worried.
“I feel like I’ve been playing good golf lately, and I obviously had a tough loss yesterday against Bubba,” Vegas said. “But I’ve got to keep my head up and keep playing good golf.”
Cellphone problems: Some spectators and fans were frustrated at the 13th tee box. Apparently, cell phone service was horrible down in that area, and some fans didn’t have any service at all. That caused problems for people trying to connect to ride-hailing apps.
So what happened? Other drivers were offering patrons $100 rides to get to the mall.