SKIDAWAY ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – On the morning of the opening round of the Club Car Championship, only one thing was on everyone’s mind: the persistent, gusty wind.
“That was the conversation, everyone was talking about it before the tournament when the forecast came out a few days ago,” said golfer and St. Simons Island resident Joey Garber. “We knew we had to fight and it would be difficult for us. We just have to put one foot in front of the other and make as many good swings and putts as possible.
While the storms that accompanied the wind delayed the game at the Landings Club for just under an hour and a half in the afternoon, the wind impacted the game for much longer than that, especially among the first cohort. The southerly breeze crossed the course at 15 to 20 miles per hour, with occasional gusts of over 30 miles per hour.
All of the tournament’s top nine players started in the afternoon group, which was able to resume play after the storms passed into much calmer winds. This reflected on the ranking; all of the top nine golfers were part of this afternoon cohort. The morning group’s leading scorers, Bo Hoag and Will Dickson, both scored -4, which is four strokes off the eight-under pace set by Carl Yuan and Mark Hubbard.
“There was a lot of wind at the start of the back nine, some tough holes,” Yuan said. “I did good pars to start the run. I just hit good shot by good shot.
Of the 156 golfers in the tournament, only 44 of them have yet to complete their first rounds. The last group to tee off was at hole 12 when play was suspended just after 7.40pm due to darkness.
The most notable performance among local golfers was Beaufort’s Mark Anderson, who finished the day tied for fourth at six under. He has one hole left to complete his first lap, which has been bogey-free so far.
Most local golfers will still have to play their first rounds on Friday morning. Country Day senior and Auburn hire Reed Lotter (+1 to 12 holes), Georgia Southern graduate Steven Fisk (-2 to 12) and St. Simons Island residents Mookie DeMoss (-2 to 12) and Dalton Ward (E at 11) will all be trying to approach their second round on a high note with a strong morning performance.
Meanwhile, Armstrong State’s Shad Tuten (-1) and St. Simons Island’s Joey Garber (-2) made their rounds before tournament officials suspended play.
Garber is originally from Michigan, but he played golf at UGA and now calls South Georgia his home. He and the other local players have lots of friends around them to cheer them on throughout the tournament.
“That probably means more than most people know, playing close to home and having friends and family here.” Garber said. “I have friends from Michigan, they came and friends from St. Simons too. Hopefully we’ll go on for a few more days and drink and hang out and enjoy the city and watch some good golf.
The first round will resume at 7:20 a.m. on Friday. Departure times will be delayed by 15 minutes; the first golfers will leave at 7:35 am. A full list of departure times can be found here.