PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Padraig Harrington was in the lead at seven-under par through two rounds when the third round of The Honda Classic was canceled Saturday due to heavy rain and winds that engulfed PGA National Resort and Spa shortly after the third-round of the the rain-delayed event had begun.
When play resumes Sunday at 10 a.m. with the goal of completing as many holes as possible before a Monday morning finish, Harrington, who shot four-under 66 in the second round, will hold a one-stroke lead over Patrick Reed. Just 24 players completed a hole Saturday. Ian Poulter and Brendan Steele are two back.
The Honda Classic will honor Saturday tickets of all levels on a General Admission basis on Sunday. Tickets for Hospitality areas, such as the Gosling's Dark n'Stormy Bear Trap, Cobra Puma Golf Village and Champions Club, will be reserved to Sunday ticket holders for those areas, but the Saturday tickets will still be good for general admission into the tournament.
The starting time for Monday will be determined upon the completion of play on Sunday. Admission on Monday will be Free. Any hospitality credential holders from previous days of the tournament will be admitted into those areas for free on Monday.
KEN KENNERLY: Obviously it's been a brutal, brutal afternoon. Ed McEnroe and I just got back from a meeting with Slugger White and the TOUR rules officials. What we are going to do is a couple things:
One, on the ticket situation, we are going to honor tomorrow, we are going to honor all Saturday tickets tomorrow at The Honda Classic, Sunday, but, they will be honored as a General Admission ticket only. In other words, if someone comes tomorrow with a Bear Trap from Saturday, we will honor that in a General Admission fashion.
So all Saturday credentials will be honored tomorrow. People have to bring their tickets with them. For the higher-end hospitality we are going to ask them to bring their individual Sunday tickets. So we cannot have Saturday and Sunday together up in the hospitality areas.
In terms of play, what the TOUR will tell you, we are doing an evaluation of the golf course right now. Lucas Harvey and his team are going around the course. There's been some damage on the structures, not major. All the major structures are intact.
We lost some concession areas and a few other things, but for the most part, the construction, the structures of the golf course are intact. There's been a lot of flooding out there, so again, the assessment needs to be made by Lucas Harvey, the superintendent and his team. They are committed to get the course playable for tomorrow, and I know the TOUR will have some more information on that.
But in terms of the tickets, we will honor Saturday tickets at The Honda Classic tomorrow as Grounds Only. So we encourage people to come out tomorrow and enjoy the tournament. The weather is supposed to be pretty good.
And from a competition standpoint, as I mentioned, the PGA TOUR will address you all separately.
Q. Do you know how much rain you got today?
KEN KENNERLY: We heard it was up to five inches, is what I heard, four to five inches of rain.
Q. Do you know of any injuries whatsoever?
KEN KENNERLY: I have not heard of anything. Our team did a great job evacuating this course. The PGA TOUR was well ahead of this storm. We further evacuated people that refused to leave until it got a little heavy, as people tend to do. But we got all children, some elderly people that were out there, we got them safe in safe and sound; a little wet of course, but no injuries.
Q. Some people had to wait over an hour for buses to leave, to Ballen Isles, back to Mirasol and back to the general parking area. A lot of them were very frustrated and upset and said the wait was too long. What's your comment on that?
KEN KENNERLY: I've got to learn a little bit more about that right now. I do know Ryder Cup Boulevard was underwater when I was doing an evaluation of the course. On 15, I went down to the road because there was a shuttle vehicle on the golf course side of the road. He couldn't leave. The police officers were there and they had pretty much the road shut down. The buses were going through but pedestrian vehicles --
Q. People said the buses were not coming through.
KEN KENNERLY: I saw at one point a bus go through, but it was going very, very slowly. So I'm sure everything was backed up.
Q. Can you talk about how frustrating the last two days have been, the weather?
KEN KENNERLY: We've got a great leaderboard, and of course it's frustrating. Mother Nature took her toll on us. We've still got a great competition ahead of us, great leaderboard of course.
But we are frustrated and I think, you know, as much as we are for the players, it's for the fans, because there's a lot of time and energy that goes into setting up this tournament. We are raising money for charity, so of course our numbers are going to be down a little bit.
But we're still looking forward to a great day tomorrow, and I think the TOUR is going to make a determination whether or not we can finish tomorrow, if not, perhaps go to Monday.
Q. Any sense how ticket sales have gone so far?
KEN KENNERLY: I don't have any sense right now. I know we are up leading into the tournament week.
Q. Can you comment on the scoreboard? I think it's gone?
KEN KENNERLY: I honestly haven't even seen that it's gone. So it's gone?
Q. Yes. Is that something that could be restored by tomorrow?
KEN KENNERLY: I've got to learn more about it.
Q. How important is it that you guys try to finish tomorrow?
KEN KENNERLY: You know, the goal is to have a 72-hole competition, so we are going to do our darnedest to get four rounds of golf in.
Again, that's more of a PGA TOUR issue, but I do know that that's something that's very important to the Commissioner is to have a 72-hole event.
SLUGGER WHITE: Well, I haven't really seen anything out there just jet, Mark. I'm probably going to go out there in a few minutes.
Well, obviously we had some wind gusts up to 50, 55 miles an hour. We've got three and a half to five inches of rainfall out there. We've got structures down. We've got pretty much probably a mess. The bunkers, I'm sure are an absolute mess.
And we're going to try to resume tomorrow morning at 7:00. If we are lucky enough to do that and keep playing, we will not re-pair. If we don't get started at 7:00, then we will re-pair for the fourth round and then play as long as we can right up to dark and then finish on Monday morning.
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