WGC-cadillac championship notebook

First-round grounds passes to be honored for any other round at WGC-Cadillac Championship

 

jwalfish@MiamiHerald.com

Fans with tickets to Thursday’s opening round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship won’t have to miss out on their chance to watch the game’s best golfers.

Tournament officials announced Thursday night that grounds passes from Thursday can be exchanged at the main entrance gate on N.W. 36th St. or at VIP Concierge in the Trump National Doral lobby for grounds passes to any of the other rounds Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Those with hospitality passes will get a grounds pass and clubhouse access but will not be allowed back into their respective hospitality tents because of space concerns. Those can also be exchanged at either the main entrance or the lobby of the clubhouse.

Play is set to resume at 8:45 a.m. Friday.

CALL TO ACTION

Most of the players assumed their day was done when officials sounded the horn to suspend play at 2:22 p.m. Thursday.

Many of them went back to their hotel rooms and were getting ready to take naps or spend time with loved ones. Hunter Mahan’s caddie was playing the guitar in his room, and Jonas Blixt went as far as to go to Five Guys to grab a hamburger and was on line waiting for his order when he got the call that play was to resume at 4:45.

Mahan said the call to resume was a shock to many of the players.

“We were all pretty surprised when they said 4:45 in position, because a lot of guys were probably in the rooms chilling out,” he said. “That caught us by surprise, but that’s a part of the PGA Tour.”

However, co-leader Jason Dufner was preparing to resume play from the moment he got off the course Thursday afternoon. He said he stretched with his personal trainer, received a tissue massage and had a chat with his wife before returning to play. Dufner said that after many years as a professional, you need to expect to get back on the course and stay focused.

“This is my ninth year now [on the PGA Tour], so you expect to play until they tell you otherwise,” Dufner said. “The storm, obviously, didn’t look good, but [my] mind-set when that horns blows is to kind of get ready to have a restart whenever that might be, and if they tell you otherwise, that’s fantastic.”

SPRINT TO THE FINISH

Only two groups were able to finish their first rounds Thursday, but they cut it close.

The group of Blixt, Brendon de Jonge and Harris English almost sprinted to the tee box at No. 9 to ensure they could start the hole before the horn sounded to suspend play because of darkness.

The three players realized how much of a difference finishing the round in the Thursday dusk would have on their routine Friday and elected to play out instead of waiting for the inevitable horn to blast.

“We were pretty much running to the tee on nine,” said English, who is in the five-way tie for the lead at 3-under. “It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole because it really changes the way you approach the day.

“Waking up and playing one hole at eight in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time is tough to do. That way in the morning, we can have a normal day just like [Thursday].”

Darren Fichardt, Scott Hend and Kevin Streelman comprised the other three-man group that finished.

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