Rare perfect forecast in the cards for PGA Professional Championship at Sunriver Resort

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Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Unlike years past, it looks as though players will be shedding the cold weather gear at Sunriver Resort for all four rounds of the 2017 PGA Professional Championship.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Published: Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 2:35 p.m.

SUNRIVER, Oregon -- In the three previous PGA Professional Championships at the Sunriver Resort (2001, 2007 and 2013), the weather has run the gamut on the field of 312.

Cold. Windy. Rainy. Hot.

Players experienced all of that in each of those tournaments.

The 2017 edition looks to be decidedly different.

With perfect, blue, sunny skies at the foothills of Mount Bachelor, this week's PGA Professional Championship forecast is calling for temperatures between 82-90 for the next four days with no clouds, let alone rain.

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"We've played the first three days in practice rounds where it's been kind of cold and windy," said Rob Labritz. "The forecast shows that's all going to change starting today."

For Saturday's final practice round, players were being greeted earlier to temperatures in the high 70s with virtually no wind.

"We're going to go out there and find out how the ball is flying," Labritz said. "The ball has been going maybe 8 percent farther, but I'm expecting that to get up to maybe 10-14 percent farther because it'll be hot with no humidity. It'll be interesting to see. Today is going to be that day to dial it in and see how it's really going to play. I'm dialed in so far, but I need to see if there's another adjustment that'll need to be made."

In past PPC's here, the Meadows course earned a reputation as the one where you needed to get your scoring done.

With the conditions expected, Merion's Mark Sheftic doesn't think Meadows will be a bargain this time around.

"We played a practice round at Meadows on Friday and the greens are totally different than they were in 2013," Sheftic said. "They re-did the greens and they're firm. In 2013, Meadows was the course to go get a score. But now it's hard to get the ball close to the pin because of how firm the greens are.

"Crosswater is a fantastic golf course, still, but there's not going to be any let up at Meadows like there might have been previously," he added. "It's going to be a great test on both golf courses."

The silver lining? The sensational weather could bring on a boatload of contenders. The usual advantage the big hitters enjoy might not be as massive as it would be in less than ideal conditions.

"The weather is supposed to get up into the 90s," Sheftic said. "It'll probably make both courses play shorter for everyone. It's not going to be as wet and it's not going to be as cold." 

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.