California rain drenches Hope Classic
Associated Press
Friday, January 22, 2010

LA QUINTA, Calif. --- Heavy rains forced the postponement of the second round of the Bob Hope Classic on Thursday, wiping out a day of competition at the tournament for the first time in 30 years.

The latest wave of Southern California's major rainstorms hit the Palm Springs area Wednesday afternoon and scarcely let up Thursday morning, with water pooling on greens and fairways. The area already has received two inches of rain this week -- a rarity in the deserts east of Los Angeles.

With better weather in the forecast for the weekend, tournament organizers quickly decided to scrap Thursday's play.

The Bob Hope Classic is the PGA Tour's only five-day, four-course event, giving the tournament extra time to make up Thursday's lost round. The tournament hadn't been interrupted by rain since the opening round of the 1980 event, which was suspended and completed the next day.

The tour hasn't decided whether the Hope Classic will be extended into Monday. Next week's PGA event is at Torrey Pines in the San Diego area, making for a simple travel schedule for the players.

Shane Bertsch led after Wednesday's opening round with 10- under 62, two strokes ahead of Jeff Quinney and Alex Prugh. The Bob Hope Classic has a lackluster field this year, with no players in the top 35.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Ian Poulter shot 7-under-par 65 to share a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Poulter made seven birdies, including a 70-foot putt at the last that if it hadn't gone in "would have gone 10 foot past," he said.

Also at 65 were Richard Bland and Keith Horne.

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy shot 66 to follow in a group of nine.

Todd Hamilton, the 2004 British Open champion, shot 68. Defending European money list winner Lee Westwood had 69.

Former Augusta State star Oliver Wilson shot 75.

PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA: In Christchurch, New Zealand, Michael Curtain shot 6-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead in the New Zealand PGA.

New Zealanders Mathew Holten and Grant Moorhead and Neil Sarkies opened with 67s on the Clearwater Resort course.

"I didn't hit the ball too well to be honest, but I hit it in good spots that gave me good lies and I was able to actually hit a few greens and two-putt them," Holten said.

WOODS' CRASH: New audio recordings are being released from the Tiger Woods car crash investigation.

In one recording released on Thursday, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Evans tells a dispatcher that the golfer wasn't doing anything he shouldn't have been doing. The trooper also says that Woods had only minor injuries.

The patrol has already closed its investigation into the Nov. 27 crash outside the central Florida mansion of Woods and his wife, Elin. Woods was charged with careless driving and fined $164.

Woods has taken an indefinite leave from golf after he admitted marital infidelity.

From the Friday, January 22, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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