Brian Allee-Walsh

Rain spoils PGA's good walk in Big Easy

AVONDALE, La.

As April showers continued to mess with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the first day of May, my thoughts turned to Mark Twain.

"Golf is a good walk spoiled,'' the great American author/humorist once penned.

With all due respect, I will amend Twain's ageless observation: "Stop and start competitive golf, played for big money and interrupted by Mother Nature on a daily basis, is a good walk spoiled.''

Yes, those 82 players who survived the cut at the annual PGA Tour stop at TPC Louisiana, will walk away with hundreds of thousands at the conclusion of this waterlogged event but what has transpired around here the past five days has been indeed, a "good walk spoiled.''

No matter how you slice it.

Yet another weather delay halted play Sunday, the third lengthy rain stoppage in four days. The horn sounded at 10:08 a.m., signalling another unwanted break in action. Play was suspended for the day at 4:40 p.m. The tournament has been shortened to 54 holes and will resume play at 7 a.m. Monday, weather permitting.

Inside the clubhouse, the current No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Rankings wiled away the time.

Again.

"You got to understand that if it is stop and start, you got to try and stay in the right frame of mind mentally,'' said Jason Day, who counts the 2015 PGA Championship among his nine wins on tour. "Try and keep yourself loose because there is a lot of sitting around, a lot of eating, and all that other stuff.

"But you've got to try and remind yourself that you need to stay sharp here because it is very easy to get in player dining, start sitting around, start talking to the guys and kind of switch it off.''

Day continued to lurk at 10-under through his 44 holes before play was suspended Sunday, three shots off the lead. He sandwiched birdies at Nos. 3, 5, 7 and 8 around a bogey at No. 6 to position himself nicely for a run at the leaders before being chased off the course.

"It's my wife Ellie's 30th birthday and she's enjoying her time in the Bahamas,'' Day said. "I'm stuck here in New Orleans with the rain, trying not to hit the red velvet cake.''

A lob wedge away from the clubhouse, Zurich Classic tournament director Steve Worthy stood in the media center, watching the Golf Channel, waiting for the rain to stop, hoping to get the players back out on the course where they belong.

"Last night was the first night this week where I slept hard,'' said Worthy, the CEO of Fore!Kids Foundation which oversees the year-long production of the $7 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans. "I got some sleep the three previous nights in between a lot of tossing and turning.

"Hey, what are you going to do?''

A moment later, the man with the bloodshot eyes grabbed his golf umbrella and headed out the door, prepared to have his walk spoiled by rain.

Brian Allee-Walsh, is a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans. He can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.

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