Rain was the most talked about subject all week at TPC Sugarloaf, site of the 2015 Greater Gwinnett Championship, and it was rain that brought this PGA Tour’s Champions Tour event to a halt on Sunday morning.
Olin Brown, who led after two rounds in Duluth, was awarded the championship as inclement weather and rain wouldn’t allow any golf to be played on Sunday.
Browne finished at 12-under par in what many considered difficult conditions.
“Yeah, it was a really trying week for everybody here this week, explained the Tequesta, Florida resident. “I think the staff here, the volunteers, the grounds crew, everybody did an incredible job getting the course prepped and ready for play, and it’s such a downer for them to have the weather kind of throw this wet blanket on things. I really feel badly for the tournament. But I think in all honesty, we all kind of knew this was coming and I think it’s miraculous we got in 36 holes, just kudos to everybody there. In fact, the weather was kind of a driving force in everything this week.”
With rain washing out play on Sunday, Browne missed a chance to play with and against a former champion in Gwinnett, Bernhard Langer.
Browne has said all week, that he has nothing but respect for a hall of famer in Langer.
“The guy’s an extraordinary competitor, he’s a top‑notch human being. He’s everything the Champions Tour represents. I was going to really enjoy going out there and playing with Bernhard, I always do, and no matter what the outcome today, I would have come away better for it.”
Brian Claar, VP of Champions Tour Rules & Competition, actually said he was glad the event was able to get two rounds completed.
“The ground is absolutely saturated. Yesterday it was borderline. We played lift, clean and place, but there were three fairways that were borderline still casual water, and we got 8/10s last night and we lost the golf course. The greens actually we could squeegee and play, but the fairways, there’s no place to play without casual water. And with more coming, I just walked up the 9th fairway again and there’s water across the whole fairway, so nothing we can do. There’s rain right on the doorstep again. Friday when we got knocked down, we had 2/10s of an inch and the greens went under water, that’s how saturated it is. Usually golf courses can easily hold that. So instead of keeping everybody here all day long and just watching the radar, it was obvious to us after speaking with our agronomist we couldn’t get the job done today. Unfortunately we just decided to pull the plug early and let everybody make some travel plans, but there was no way we could play today.”
Browne, who won $270,000 and a nice trophy was asked if he will come back and defend his title.
I think I’ll do that,” said Browne. “I love coming here, love this golf course. I like this area, good people, great tournament crew, everybody puts their best foot forward, the hospitality here is great and it’s familiar turf. We’ve been coming here for a number of years, it’s really great here and I look forward to it next year.”
More information at www.greatergwinnettchampionship.com.