Sunday, July 31, 2016

Killing time till tee time: how golfers are waiting out the PGA intermission

SPRINGFIELD, N.J.—Rain delays at the PGA Championship forced a highly compacted schedule, meaning the leading players in the field are facing the prospect of playing as many as 36 holes of golf on Sunday, weather permitting.

The logistics behind routing 86 golfers through an 18-hole course mean that the players who wrapped up Round 3 on Sunday morning had about a four-hour wait to tee off in Round 4. Four hours … that’s just enough time to do not much of anything, really. You could grab a bite to eat, you could grab a nap, you could catch a flick (tip: the AMC Mountainside 10 right around the corner from Baltusrol has a showing of Jason Bourne at 12:30) … the possibilities are endless, if brief.

Most players, still drenched from four hours of walking in the rain, weren’t exactly in talkative moods as they left the 18th hole. Brooks Koepka said he’d be “chilling” over the next few hours, icing down a sore ankle, while Martin Kaymer didn’t have any idea what he’d be doing. And Will McGirt told TNT he’d be up for “a hot shower and a power nap.”

Jimmy Walker, who’s held at least a share of the lead after all three rounds, dismissed the idea that a quick turnaround could have a positive effect on nerves, as opposed to sleeping on the lead. “Either is fine,” he said. “Doesn’t really matter. Hopefully we get it in. That would be fun and nice and we could all get out of here.”

Leave it to Jason Day, of course, to expound in great detail on his plans for the downtime: “I’ll probably have a shower, relax a little bit with the family, have lunch, and then probably put a new outfit on and feel fresh again for the next round,” he said, adding that he’d also get strategic: “I’ll hopefully be able to watch some golf, see how it’s reacting out there, as well. That obviously gives me a good indication on what I can do on certain holes. It’s a plus; I can relax.”

Henrik Stenson, the British Open maestro, should be one of Day’s primary competitors. He’ll prepare to win his second consecutive major by relaxing a bit. “I might go lay on the physio table and have a snooze,” he told Yahoo Sports. “Please don’t wake me up.”

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.


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