The Xerox Silver Pro-Am came to a screeching halt at 2 p.m. Wednesday due to rain, cold and wind, as well as a little hail in the area. For the most part, players and participants in the pre-tournament event for the FBR Open looked relieved.
With temperatures plummeting into the 40s, some had been predicting snow at the TPC of Scottsdale. But most participants were just worn out from putting on/taking off their rain gear, as the wet stuff — officially .36 inches — was scattered throughout the day.
Leading the pack at the time was U.S. Open champ Geoff Ogilvy, who was 5 under through the 17th hole, which he had just eagled. John Daly and Stephen Ames were 4 under at the time.
“It’s obviously not a very fun day to play golf,’’ observed Ogilvy, who splits his time between Scottsdale and his homeland of Australia. “(The weather) is unlike the desert, but it seems to do it at the FBR Open every time we come here.’’
Prizes still were awarded, but all scores went back to nine holes. The winners included teams headed by Lucas Glover and Fred Couples (front nine, 8 under as a team), and J.J. Henry (back nine, 9 under as a team).
Unfortunately for the participants, no one received a rain check on their $8,500 entry fee. That’s because rainouts are covered in the rules and fees are not refundable, an FBR official said.
Somewhat surprisingly, the inclement weather didn’t really affect the size of the crowd all that much, as 40,425 withstood the elements.
After winning last year’s FBR Open, J.B. Holmes failed to record a top-10 finish for the rest of the 2006 season. But Holmes is off to a quick start this year after finishing tied for fourth at the winners-only Mercedes Championship.
Asked if he’s feeling any pressure in defending his first PGA Tour title, the second-year pro from Kentucky shrugged.
“The only pressure is being myself,’’ he said. “I tend to put too much pressure on myself every week.
“Actually, I feel more relaxed this week than I have been at a lot of other tournaments because so much positive stuff came from this last year. I’m just going to go out there and try to have fun, and not worry about where I’m at. … “I like the golf course, I like the crowd, I like the city.’’
For the most part, rookie Andrew Buckle has spent his whole life in Australia. But after he earned his card for finishing 13th on the Nationwide Tour money list last season, he decided to move to Scottsdale.
“I used to come here on my weeks off,’’ said Buckle, 24, who finished fourth in San Diego last week. “I’ve got a few friends here, so I’d either stay with them or just stay in a hotel close by and then practice out here at the TPC.’’
But that changed recently when he purchased his first home here in the East Valley.
MUST BE ‘THESE’ SHOES
Sixteen players will be cheered more loudly than others this week at the notorious 16th hole, chiefly because they’ll be wearing the new Adidas-Golf PowerBand shoe.
What’s so special about that? It could win 10,000 fans a new pair of the aforementioned shoes.
The Shoe In One promotion by TaylorMade-adidas will include the following players: John Daly, Fred Funk, Nathan Green, Trip Isenhour, Tom Lehman, Peter Lonard, Will MacKenzie, Sean O’Hair, Greg Owen, Kenny Perry, Tim Petrovic, John Rollins, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Mike Weir and Charlie Wi.
To be eligible, should one of the above make an ace, register at any Van’s Golf Shops or at the Adidas-Golf booth in the Expo Center.