Fog suspends play at Buick Invitational
Not even the tough South course at Torrey Pines could stop Tom Lehman, who was cruising right along Friday in the Buick Invitational until he ran into one small problem. He couldn't see.
Without warning, a soupy fog shrouded the cliffside course and suspended the second round with only 14 players able to finish. Lehman was at 13 under par through 16 holes and still had the par-5 18th to play.
Play was expected to resume.
Ernie Els (15 holes on the South) and Tiger Woods (12 holes on the North) were at 8 under, while Vijay Singh was hovering around the cut line at 3 under with six holes still to play on the easier North course.
"We didn't think anything of it," Jay Haas, was at 2 under par and playing the 18th hole on the North when the siren sounded to stop play.
That was the hard-luck group of the second round.
When play is suspended by fog, players are allowed to complete a hole, as long as they have teed off. Kevin Sutherland was 9 under par and was first to hit on the 18th hole on the North course. He waited for the fairway to clear, with blue skies overhead, then realized he didn't have a tee in his pocket.
By the time Sutherland got a tee from his bag, set up his ball, aligned himself and got ready to hit, the siren sounded and they could not finish.
That was particularly bothersome to Mark Calcavecchia, who was 6 over for the tournament and had no chance of making the cut. Instead of waiting until late Friday afternoon, or returning Saturday morning, he cleaned out his locker and left Torrey Pines.
Another early departure was David Duval, who was 10 over for the tournament with five holes left on the North course. He waited a few hours, then decided to go home to Denver.
Phil Mickelson (5 under through 13 holes) worked on his putting. Singh emerged from the locker room after a few hours and headed to the range.
Everyone else congregated on the two practice greens, waiting for words from the PGA Tour.
"I was on the 12th tee when they blew the horn," said Chris Smith, who was 5 under par on the North. "About 30 seconds later, I couldn't even see the green. Tomorrow is going to be a long day."
Lehman made the most of his time on the South course, playing the more difficult back nine in 1 under, and finishing with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 to keep ahead of Lonard.
Singh stumbled slightly on No. 2, hitting a beautiful recovery from the trees to the edge of the green, some 15 feet from the cup. But he chipped too hard and missed a 6-foot par putt. Els was the only player among the top six in the world ranking on the South course. He birdied his first hole, but missed several good chances.