KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Rain and wind that made the course unplayable Friday forced PGA Tour officials to wipe out what was to have been the first round of the American golf season.
With 20 of the 30 players in the field having begun play on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions was canceled.
It was a rare occurrence on the tour, where the normal policy is to count every shot taken during the course of a tournament.
The conditions were so severe, however, that after a lengthy weather delay it was decided it would be unfair to those who had started play in the worst of the day's weather if their scores were counted. That weather included wind gusts of 42 miles per hour and sheets of rain that blew sidewise across a hilly course exposed to the conditions.
Of those who had begun their opening round, current U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson had the best score working at 3-under through seven holes. Scott Stallings was at the other end of the spectrum, having played the first four holes in 7-over.
The fact that balls would not remain still on the greens and that shots buried in the wet sand caused tour officials to discard Friday's results.
An attempt will be made Saturday to play 36 holes with the players going off both the first and 10th tees, although the weather forecast is not favorable.
The season-starting event is open only to players who won a PGA Tour competition during 2012.
That group includes first-time winners Rickie Fowler and Jason Dufner, who were the first to face the elements on Friday. Dufner birdied the first hole, but his tee shot on the par-3 eighth all but disappeared in a greenside bunker and he wound up with a double bogey. Fowler was 3-over through eight holes when play was stopped.
Masters champion Bubba Watson is the leading player in the world rankings competing this week, standing at No. 8.
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