Rain Forces Officials to Shorten Senior Golf

Times Staff Writer

Champions Tour officials shortened the SBC Classic to 36 holes after a heavy rainstorm washed out the second round Saturday at Valencia Country Club. Tour officials delayed the start of the round three hours and hoped to play at least nine holes but canceled the round at about 1:30 p.m., citing unplayable conditions. Large puddles formed on several greens and fairways and standing water could be found in almost every bunker.

Workers tried to prepare the course for play during a two-hour midday break from the rain, but because more rain was forecast, the round was canceled before any players teed off. Tee times today begin at 9:23 a.m., and the leaders are scheduled to go off at 11:11.

Gil Morgan, a 21-time winner on the Champions Tour, shot seven-under-par 65 Friday and leads John Schroeder by one. Tom Purtzer and James Mason are two strokes behind. This is the first time in the event's 13-year history that the tournament has been shortened.

"I think there is a chance of [losing momentum]," Morgan said. "But at the same time, with only one round left, that puts me in a better position with the rest of the field."

Should rain wipe out today's round, the 18-hole results will stand and the full purse will be paid, but the money will not count on the official money list.

Extending the tournament into Monday is only an option if today's round has to be postponed and more than 50% of the field has finished. Should play begin today and fewer than 50% of the players finish, the 18-hole results will stand and the money paid will be unofficial. The forecast today calls for a mix of sun and clouds with isolated showers possible.

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