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PGA Tour braces for rain at golf's Bob Hope Classic

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A tour rules official says contingency plans in the event of rain include a possible Monday finish to the five-day, 90-hole tournament, which is scheduled to start Wednesday.

January 20, 2010|Bill Dwyre

The rain forecast for Southern California is likely to affect this week's Bob Hope Classic golf tournament, and a PGA Tour official said that "there is no written script" with exact details of how to deal with it.

"We'll make every effort to complete the 90 holes, even if we have to go to Monday," said Steve Rintoul, a tour rules official.

The tournament will begin today and will feature four rounds of pros playing with amateurs and celebrities, followed by a pros-only final 18 holes. The final round is scheduled for Sunday, but Rintoul said a possible rain-delay scenario is for the final round to be played Monday.

"Our look at the weather forecasts," Rintoul said, "has Wednesday looking OK, Thursday not good and the rest of the weekend also looking good. So if we lost a full day Thursday, we'd just finish on Monday."

Rintoul said the four courses for this year's event -- SilverRock, LaQuinta Country Club, the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West and the Palmer Private Course at PGA West -- were in the best collective shape of any four courses he has ever seen for the Hope. He also said that, because of the expected wet conditions, the tournament would use the lift, clean and place rule.

Rintoul said that practice rounds were played on all four courses Tuesday and that riding carts were used, but kept on the cart paths.

He said that the Hope, because of its pro-am format and because it is played on four courses, presents special challenges to tour officials because of "all the moving parts."

He added that the worst-case scenario involves partial rounds finishing in midday, and golfers needing to move to another course to tee it up again. He also said that, were one of the courses deemed unplayable prior to the start of a round, play would also be called on the other three.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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