PGA Tour officials keeping close eye on Hurricane Earl as it heads north

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The players at TPC Boston will be keep their eyes on the ball and the skies as the day progresses on Friday.
By
PA Sport

Series:

The second event of the FedExCup playoff series is bracing itself for the possibility of disruption caused by Hurricane Earl.

Tee times in Friday’s opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship have been brought forward and precautions are being taken to avoid damage if the hurricane hits.

"We're going to come in and we're going to play all we can," said PGA Tour official Mark Russell.

"Hopefully Earl will slow down and we'll get finished [Friday afternoon]. If we can't, we've just got to play it by ear, get the players off, get the spectators to take shelter and see what happens,” he explained. "We can play in a little wind and a little rain, but the lightning is what's going to put us out of business."

The storm was a Category 4 hurricane early Thursday with winds of 140 mph, but had been downgraded to Category 3 with winds of 125 later in the day.

"Once we get to the early afternoon time frame, we will definitely start getting some of the outer bands of Earl and so we'll get some showers and some brief gusty winds," said meteorologist Steve Williams.

The forecast might mean an advantage for those with early tee times, including Martin Laird, who lost a playoff to Matt Kuchar in The Barclays last weekend, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter and Paul Casey. The later starters included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington.

"We aren't going to take any chances," added Russell. "A Category 2 hurricane is serious business. It can blow trees down and do a lot of damage. "We want to give people time to get home and take shelter. If this thing goes more to the west, it could be very serious. Hopefully it will slow down and go east of here."