The final round of the Northern Trust has been postponed to Monday, as Hurricane Henri is forecasted to bring rain and wind to northern New Jersey and render Liberty National unplayable on Sunday.
“Based on the projected path of Tropical Storm Henri and the Tropical Storm Warning that has been issued by the National Hurricane Center for the area where the Northern Trust is located, there will be no play on Sunday, August 22nd,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.
“Round 4 will be played on Monday, August 23rd. Tee times and groupings for Round 4 will be published on Sunday afternoon, with play on Monday slated to begin no earlier than 7:30am.”
This is not an unexpected development; the tour issued a statement warning of such a possibility on Friday and noted that Henri was not expected to impact Monday’s forecast, an early sign that the tour was indeed eyeing a Monday finish.
The most severe storm conditions are projected to impact Long Island, eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. Those areas are officially on Hurricane Warning, while most of the metropolitan New York City area – including Liberty National – is on a Tropical Storm Warning.
PGA Tour official John Mutch said in an interview with Golf Channel that the storm was expected to bring two to four inches of rain at Liberty National, with winds gusting at 35mph. He added that the wind could reach 60 mph “if we get the worst of this.”
Mutch said anything moveable on the golf course would be secured, including the lowering of scoreboards.
Mutch said he has been told by a tour meteorologist that they should be able to complete the tournament on Monday. “It may be wet,” he said, “but we’re fortunte to have a golf course built on sand, and they’re used to this kind of thing.”
If at least half the weekend field cannot complete the 72-hole tournament on Monday, then the full final round is scrapped, including what’s been completed. The winner would be the 54-hole leader, unless play is extended to Tuesday.
The 2011 Northern Trust, then known as the Barclays, was shortened to 54 holes as Hurricane Irene swept thorugh the Northeast and left the golf course unplayable even on Monday. Henri is not projected to be as destructive as Irene – there’s only a few inches of rain in Jersey City’s forecast for Sunday – and the tour expects the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event to run its full 72 holes.
Only the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings after the Northern Trust will advance to next week’s BMW Championship, which will be held at Caves Valley outside Baltimore for the first time.
There has not been an unscheduled Monday finish on the PGA Tour since the 2019 Zozo Championship, won by Tiger Woods.