Zurich Classic battered by rain as half the field fails to start

Just 13 teams finished their opening rounds with Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax leading

Course marshal Bart Dornier gestures to golfers to walk around “Tripod”, a resident 3-legged alligator, as he crosses the 18th fairway during the first round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

Course marshal Bart Dornier gestures to golfers to walk around “Tripod”, a resident 3-legged alligator, as he crosses the 18th fairway during the first round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

 

Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax sit at the top of the leaderboard at the Zurich Classic after a rain-hit day in Louisiana meant just 13 teams finished the first round.

The American duo, who started on the back nine, shot a best-ball 11-under 61 after rattling off four straight birdies over their last four holes in the four-ball format.

Half of the 80 teams were unable to start their round after thunderstorms and up to two-and-a-half inches of rain battered the New Orleans course, causing a seven-hour and 33-minute delay. Among those who didn’t begin were the Irish contingent in the field of Pádraig Harrington and Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell alongside Henrik Stenson and Séamus Power with David Hearn.

Scotland’s Martin Laird and Nick Taylor, of Canada, were among those to finish their round, ending the day one shot back of Stallings and Mullinax.

Brian Gay and Rory Sabbatini, however, were closing in on the leaders after firing five birdies on the back nine to get to 10 under through 14 holes before darkness stopped play.

Joel Dahmen and Brandon Harkins finished the day tied for fourth at nine under alongside Brice Garnett and Chesson Hadley.

Play resume will resume at 7am on Friday (1pm Irish time).

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