Weather looms as large factor for PGA Championship
KIAWAH ISLAND — When world No. 1 Luke Donald teed off on the Ocean Course for a practice round this morning, the Ocean Course wind was howling at 25 mph.
After a half-hour rain delay, Donald came back out to find the wind blowing in a different direction at a gentle 5 mph.
“Obviously, I think weather is going to play large part in this tournament,” Donald said. “The conditions are changing from hour to hour,and that's making it difficult.”
With scattered thunderstorms forecast for the rest of the week, PGA director of championships Kerry Haigh said the weather will play a role in how the 7,676-yard Ocean Course is set up.
“My best friends this week will be the weather people,” Haigh said. “Absolutely, we will be looking at it. The good news is that it's on sand and it dries out very quickly. So we just need a couple of days of nice breeze and some drying sun, and we'll be in beautiful shape.”
Today's on-and-off rains kept the players on alert, and nearly drowned out Tiger Woods' news conference in the media center. But it didn't deter fans.
Joe Morgan of Charleston arrived at the Ocean Course in plenty of time for practice session at the PGA Championship, but spent much of his early time in the merchandise tent due to a weather warning.
“They were smart,” Morgan laughed. “I spent $150 in there.”
Several brief, but heavy showers wet the grounds and raised the humidity.
“We got a little wet,” said Bobby Carpenter of Charleston as he walked toward the back nine of the ocean course.
A heavy band of rain briefly halted play and practice around 8 a.m., and around 10:30 another brief but heavy shower prompted spectators and players to raise umbrellas and don rain jackets.
Traffic moved smoothly getting to the island. Check back for more updates throughout the day, and get more coverage at postandcourier.com/pga.