Survival of the fittest in first round of Web.com Tour Bahamas tournament

Web.com Tour
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If you thought the Bahamas was all beaches, palm trees and pineapple drinks, you need to see what unfolded in Sunday's opening round of the Web.com Tour's The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, January 09, 2017 | 9:08 a.m.

Pro golf, man. All those men and women do is chase the sun, right?

Tell that to the guys on the Web.com Tour, in the Bahamas this week for the season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, running Sunday-Wednesday.

With winds up to 40 mph and rain coming down sideways along the Atlantic Ocean at Sandals Emerald Bay during the opening round, scores were... ummm... how shall we say, "high."

At one point in the round, the average score was 81 on the par 72 course (Tom Lovelady was the clubhouse leader at even-par 72). Bryan Bigley, Greg Eason and Byron Smith shot rounds of 90, 91 and 95, respectively.

Brendon de Jonge, a longtime PGA Tour player and member of the 2013 International Presidents Cup Team, shot a 17-over 89 -- one of 16 players who finished their first rounds with a score at 85 or worse.

That is not to poke fun, but rather to highlight the insane difficulty of the conditions players faced. This was practically golf in a hurricane.

Check out some of the videos from Twitter:

That sure doesn't look like paradise, does it?

There was ugly weather in May of 2013 as well when the LPGA visited the Bahamas for its Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Twelve inches of rain smashed the course over two days right before the tournament was scheduled to begin. The tournament went on -- starting a day late -- despite having six unplayable holes on the course at the Ocean Club in Paradise Island, Nassau.

The tournament was reduced to 36 holes with four 12-hole rounds played.

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.