October 26, 2019 / 2:02 AM / 25 days ago

Golf-Zozo Championship's soaked second round begins sans spectators

CHIBA, Japan, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The second round of the Zozo Championship finally started in funereal silence on Saturday morning in conditions more suitable for ducks than golfers at Narashino Country Club.

Six inches (150 mm) of rain on Friday left part of the course under water, literally, with the par-four 10th hole shortened to 140 yards (128 metres) because the fairway had turned into a lake during the incessant downpours.

Play on Friday was completely washed out and even though players were allowed preferred lies, otherwise known as “lift, clean and place”, the soggy conditions were destined to make for a trying day for competitors on Saturday. However, despite the deluge, the greens appeared in surprisingly good condition.

No spectators were allowed on the premises, due to what the tournament said were safety concerns, which created a weird atmosphere in the wake of the sellout crowd that had the course bursting at the seams on Thursday.

Tiger Woods, who shared the first-round lead with fellow American Gary Woodland, was scheduled to start his second round at 11.40 a.m. local time (0240 Sunday GMT).

Woods is playing in Japan for the first time in 13 years, giving fans a rare opportunity to watch the 15-times major champion.

But those who did not come on Thursday might be out of luck. The tournament has yet to announce whether spectators will be permitted for Sunday’s third round or Monday’s final round. (Reporting by Andrew Both. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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