Hurricane Irene came charging up the Eastern seaboard, becoming the first hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1903.
If there was any doubt about the PGA Tour’s decision to shorten The Barclays, it was erased on Sunday, August 28th, with one look at Plainfield Country Club, Edison, N.J., reports New Jersey’s The Record.
It wasn’t the wind from Hurricane Irene that caused most of the damage. It was the rain.
“It’s underwater,” Plainfield Head Pro Scott Paris told The Record on Sunday. “So obviously they made the right decision.”
Dustin Johnson claimed the hurricane-shortened Barclays early Saturday afternoon, before Irene’s wrath hit the golf course. Twenty-four hours later there was significant flooding on the 17th fairway, in front of the 16th green and throughout most of the 13th hole.
“We’re not going to be playable for quite some time,” Paris said.
For the last several months, Plainfield had been gearing up for this event. Long-term plans had been in the works for several years.
“Like any tournament site, there’s a lot of obstacles and planning that had to be done,” Paris said. “But everything worked great, from transportation to the club, to spectator flow around the golf course. … The plan worked.”
The event was a sellout, poised to be the most successful Barclays to date.
But the week before the tournament, Plainfield received 14 inches of rain and several more inches fell before Thursday’s first round.
The spongy conditions forced the tour to allow players to lift-clean-and-place the ball in tightly-mown areas for all three rounds. Meanwhile, the usually firm and tricky greens became spongy dart boards.
Hurricane Irene came charging up the Eastern seaboard, becoming the first hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1903. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Plainfield. The first PGA Tour event hosted by the club was shortened to 54 holes.
“It’s just hard to explain, other than it was just really strange,” Paris said of the week.
The club had done everything it could to make sure this week went off without a hitch, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate.
Perhaps the club’s fortune will be better in 2015, when it is scheduled to host The Barclays for the second time.
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