In some exceptional circumstances, a Committee may cancel a tournament round. The PGA Tour did it on February 14th at Riviera at the Genesis Open.
After 50 minutes of play, 10 groups of 3 players were on the course when the Committee suspended play because the teeing areas were full of water and the rain was not expected to stop in a near future.
A few competitors had to play in heavy fog and the Committee decided to cancel the round because it would not have been fair, many players that did not start the round and would have started in much better conditions at a later time.
Seven hours later, play resumed, and the 30 players restarted their round.
There is nothing in the Rules of golf saying exactly what to do in those circumstances. Usually if all the players would have been on the course or some would have had completed the round, the Committee would not have cancelled the round.
Case: Quebec Senior championship – Lac Saint-Joseph (2015)
The first round started in shot gun. All the players started at the same time and when play was suspended, everybody had played the same number of holes. Il was raining a lot, and the Committee decided to continue the round the next day.
A lot of players argued and wanted us to cancel the round and the Committee refused to cancel the round. It would not have been fair to some players that played well in those conditions….and the conditions were the same for everybody.
WHAT ABOUT THE PENALTIES?
All the penalties during the round are cancelled. As an example, if a player arrived late or did not show up at his first hole the Disqualification is waived. Even if a player had too much clubs or if he called in the morning to say he is withdrawing from the tournament.
In our work as referees, the decision to suspend a round, to cancel or to wait for the weather to improve is always the most difficult decision to take. Sometimes we have the impression of always taking the wrong decision at least many competitors will always think we took the wrong decision. Here are a few examples of some of the wrong decisions I have taken in the past….and I will probably do it again….
A. Suspend play because Weather Chanel is forecasting rain and thunderstorms…. and the dark cloud decides to move away from the course.
B. Not suspending play because the big dark cloud seems to go away but this cloud decides to stop over the middle of the golf course, and everybody gets very wet.
C. It is noon and we suspend play. We keep the players in the Clubhouse because it is supposed to stop, and the course stays closed all day
D. It is noon, we suspend play. We tell the player to go back at their hotel and we have scheduled to continue tomorrow. And at 4pm, the sun decides to come out and the course is in a playing condition.
Sometimes players think that we are always taking the wrong decision
Also, the Committee must decide before the first group tees up if we will put into effect the Preferred lie rule in case it rains……and sometimes we do and we don’t see any rain and in other circumstances we ask the player to play the ball down and it starts to rain.