Sports

The Barclays reduced to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene

This NASA satellite image, released to Reuters August 25, 2011, shows Hurricane Irene (centre left) moving through the Bahamas on August 25, 2011, at 10.02am EDT. Hurricane Irene bore down on North Carolina on Friday, tens of thousands of people evacuated, and East Coast cities including New York braced for a weekend hit from the powerful storm. — Reuters picThis NASA satellite image, released to Reuters August 25, 2011, shows Hurricane Irene (centre left) moving through the Bahamas on August 25, 2011, at 10.02am EDT. Hurricane Irene bore down on North Carolina on Friday, tens of thousands of people evacuated, and East Coast cities including New York braced for a weekend hit from the powerful storm. — Reuters picEDISON, New Jersey, Aug 27 — The PGA Tour has cancelled tomorrow’s scheduled play at The Barclays and reduced the opening tournament of the FedExCup playoffs to 54 holes due to safety concerns surrounding Hurricane Irene.

The Barclays, the first of four lucrative season-ending events on the US circuit, will now conclude at the end of today’s third round at Plainfield Country Club.

Hurricane-fuelled storms are expected to hit the area late today and further saturate a course that is already soggy from more than a foot of rain last week and another drenching on Thursday.

“We weighed all the options available to us, and under normal circumstances, we would obviously prefer to complete 72 holes,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

“But these aren’t normal circumstances. We realise that ‘waiting it out’ until Hurricane Irene passes and trying to play golf on Monday or Tuesday would only add unnecessary strain to those who will be trying to help the community recover from whatever potential damage this storm causes.

“The safety of the community, our fans, players, sponsor guests, television partners and staff is of the utmost importance.”

The Barclays is the first event on the PGA Tour to be reduced to 54 holes since the 2009 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. — Reuters

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