OCALA, Florida—Tournament officials announced Thursday evening that the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s second Qualifying Tournament at the Country Club of Ocala is officially reduced to 54 holes due to effects of Tropical Storm Nicole. Friday afternoon, players completed their delayed second rounds after no golf occurred Thursday. Eddy Lai remains the tournament leader, by three strokes over Chris Drysdale, David Laskin and Junhak Lee. Those players remaining in the field will conclude their final 18 holes Saturday, with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica membership cards distributed following play.
“After Tropical Storm Nicole came through (Wednesday night and Thursday), we went to the course to assess the conditions, and although we had only about three inches of rain, there were a lot of trees down and a lot of debris throughout the course. The trees obviously were the big part, and workers came in this morning and did a really great job of cleaning up the course,” said John Slater, Vice President, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Competition and Administration. “Fortunately, it wasn’t too wet out there, so we were able to resume round two this afternoon, and we should be in good shape for round three [Saturday].
“There’s no way that we would get all four rounds in, though,” Slater added. “We couldn’t start this morning, obviously. [Workers] needed time to get the course ready, which they did a great job of doing.”
With PGA TOUR weather guidelines currently in effect, the Qualifying Tournament will be considered “official” for determining eligibility for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica now that two official rounds are completed. Slater explained that 72-hole tournaments are always optimal but not always possible. There has never been a two-round qualifier in the history of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. There have, however, been two 54-hole qualifying events, one last year at Mission Inn and the second in 2012, in Miami.