Storms lead to hours-long delay at Barbasol Championship

Storms lead to hours-long delay at Barbasol Championship
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - The wet weather we’ve seen Friday afternoon has dampened the Barbasol Championship, soaking the course and sending patrons to seek shelter.

The weather delay lasted longer than three hours.

Fans and players took shelter, rode out the storm and play was able to resume around 3:40 p.m.

It’s a scenario Senior Tournament Director Ken Tackett and the PGA Tour would like to avoid, but they also spend significant time in advance preparing to ensure the safety of the players, patrons and support staff at this event and others throughout the year.

“In advance of the tournament, that’s one of the main things we go over with the local tournament and the volunteer corps is to come up with a strong evacuation plan,” Tackett said.

Tackett says weather is the most challenging aspect of holding outdoor tournaments. So, they have a rotation of on-site meteorologists tracking possible inclement weather.

“One travels with us each week, no matter where we are,” said Tackett.

PGA Tour works to get ahead of potential danger as quickly as possible by using a tiered alert system.

“You start out with a basic alert, here’s our policy. We have weather in the area be aware and be mindful of what’s going on. Then, we slowly escalate that as the risk becomes higher,” said Tackett.

Just after noon Friday, that risk level escalated. People got the alert early and headed for permanent structures.

It left some fans disappointed. Bobby Rakes came from Lebanon and Friday was the only day he had to enjoy the tournament, but he appreciated the actions taken by the PGA Tour and tournament workers to keep everyone safe.

“They’re doing all they can do, it’s just Mother Nature,” Rakes said. “The course is still in good shape but you can’t take a chance with thunder and lightning and all that, you know.”

A tournament volunteer we spoke with explained that this tournament’s unfortunate history is intertwined with inclement weather. To put it briefly she said, “If you’re ever needing any rain, just hold a Barbasol Championship.”

Fortunately, that rain has gone for the time being and we’ll just have to hope it stays that way.

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