Hurricane Earl threatens PGA playoffs

Sept. 2, 2010 at 9:00 PM
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NORTON, Mass., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Matt Kuchar will have the lead Friday when the second leg of the monthlong PGA Tour playoffs begins, Hurricane Earl permitting.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, with a field of 99 players, is scheduled for a Labor Day conclusion at the TPC-Boston course. The approach of the hurricane, however, left tournament officials in doubt as to how much golf could be played Friday.

Tee times were moved up 40 minutes to 7 a.m. EDT in hopes of getting in as much as golf as possible.

"We're going to come in Friday and start playing golf and we're going to play all we can," said Mark Russell, the tour's vice president for rules and competition. "We'll just see what happens. We can play in a little wind. But we can't handle lightning.

"We aren't going to take any chances. We want to give people time to get home and take shelter. As long as we can play golf under the rules, we're going to play."

If conditions deteriorate during the day, as expected, the early starters would likely have an advantage.

Among those will be Kuchar, who took over the lead in the FedEx Cup points race with a win last week at the opening playoff event in New Jersey.

Kuchar will be paired with Steve Stricker and Martin Laird, who are second and third on the list. The points leader after the Tour Championship later this month will win the FedEx Cup and $10 million.

Tiger Woods, who moved up 48 places into 65th place last week, has an afternoon tee time. The top 70 on the points list after this tournament move on to next week's BMW Championship in suburban Chicago. At the conclusion of that event, the top 30 will advance to the Tour Championship.

This week's field was reduced from 100 to 99 when Kenny Perry withdrew. Perry is in 90th place and thus gave up the slim hopes he had of winning the FedEx Cup.

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