The second Mitsubishi Electric Classic Over-50 Marathon of Golf — a test of man and Advil — is all set up for a long Saturday/Sunday finish.
Like a year ago, Atlanta’s late spring weather scrambled the PGA Tour Champions annual stop in town. Friday’s storm pushed the start of the first round of the 54-hole tournament to late in the afternoon. Play ended at dark with a very familiar name in these parts atop the leaderboard. Scott McCarron, who won the long-defunct PGA Tour event here in 1997 and 2001, stood at 4 under through 16 holes before he had to call it a night.
The first round resumes Saturday morning at 7:30, when 54 players in the 78-man field will finish their first round, with the second round scheduled to begin at approximately 10:40. Gates are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Fans holding Friday tickets can use them for Saturday admission.
Weather has become a dominant theme for this tournament. In 2018, reacting to dire Sunday forecasts, the tournament played both the second and final rounds on Saturday. Extended even further during a three-way playoff, then 50-year-old Steve Flesch won, surviving 38 holes in one day for his first and as-yet only victory on this tour.
Soon thereafter, Flesch went down with a herniated disc that required surgery and a three-month recovery period. His return this year has been unremarkable — he has played in six events with but one finish better than 29th (a T-5 in early March in California). He was 5 over, nine back of McCarron, through 14 holes Friday.
Otherwise, the highlights of Friday’s partial round:
• No one drowned in the fairway.
• What bad weather? Despite playing in a passing band of rain and wind gusts, Jeff Sluman holed out on his first hole for an eagle at the par 4. The rest did not go so well. He finished his first round at 5 over.
• A Monday qualifier, Bob May, was just south of McCarron, one back at 3 under. Former Masters winner Sandy Lyle was at 2 under through 15 holes.
• Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz could get nothing going with the putter, and was 5 over through 11 holes. Former Mariners and Angels reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa was 4 over through 10 holes.
• Other players of note have some work to do. Bernhard Langer was even par (through 14 holes); John Daly 4 over (through 18); Retief Goosen, making his first stop here in the over-50 circuit, was 3 over (through 17); Atlanta’s Billy Andrade was 4 over (through 18); Marietta’s Larry Nelson was 8 over (through 12).
• And no one was swallowed up by any sinkholes.
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