KAILUA-KONA >> Strong winds blowing across the Hualalai golf course forced cancellation of today’s final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship with Bernhard Langer declared the winner.
“I know a lot of people are disappointed, but I’m not,” Langer said.
It was Langer’s 30th victory on this tour to move him into second place all-time behind Hale Irwin, who has 45 wins on the senior circuit. Langer became the first person to win this event three times and celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary with wife Vikki.
With a high-wind warning in effect for the state, sustained winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of 45 at Hualalai had golf balls rolling off the greens in the PGA Tour Champions’ first event of 2017. Only five golfers in the field of 47 finished their rounds with the scoring average soaring to 79.027.
Play was suspended at 1:20 p.m. Hawaii time with Langer and Fred Couples on the first green. Twenty minutes later the players were called off the course. Five golfers finished their rounds with the best score of 75 carded by Craig Stadler, Sandy Lyle and Roger Chapman.
Hall of Fame golfer Tom Watson was 11 over for his round through the 16th hole. The only golfers below par for the day were Paul Goydos at 3 under through 13, Doug Garwood at 1 under through six, Gene Sauers 1 under through 3 and Lee Jansen 1 under after 2.
Langer began the day with a one-shot lead over Couples and two shots over Kirk Triplett. Four other golfers were three shots back when the round began. Forecasts call for gusts up to 55 mph later in the afternoon. It is supposed to be windy and rainy on Sunday. The last time play was suspended on the Champions Tour for wind was at the 2010 Ace Group Classic in Naples, Fla. The first round in that event was postponed.