HTO DAILY: BEFORE BOXING NIGHT, A BREEZY DAY AT THE BLUFFS

JAN 11, 2016

On a day when Thai boxing would eventually take center stage at The Grand, the world’s best golfers found themselves in a battle of their own at The Bluffs.

However, they weren’t competing so much against each other as they were against the wind, which was strong from the moment the first peg was put in the ground.

In fact, it was so blustery at 2 p.m. that play was suspended for two full hours.

Still, for the second consecutive day, spectators were anything but deterred by Mother Nature. And again, the 18th-hole hospitality tents were the places to be. Beverage sponsors Macallan and Magners were kept busy by thirsty patrons as the players tried to negotiate that green’s tricky back pin position. More than halfway through the day’s action, only six birdies had been recorded there.

One of the tournament favorites, former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, nearly ended his round with a birdie, but a mean lip-out meant he’d have to settle for par and a 1-under 70.

A cruel finish wasn’t enough to dampen the affable Aussie’s spirits, though.

“If I didn’t think I was close (to breaking through), I’d be somewhere else,” he said with a smile.

“Like on a surfboard maybe?” he was asked.

“Hey, don’t give me any ideas,” he replied.

The breezy conditions certainly lured some to the water, as kiteboarders could be seen from various spots on the course riding the white-capped waves of the Pacific well into the late afternoon.

Singer Brian McFadden wasn’t one of them. His late-day activity of choice was following good mate Robert Rock as the Englishman attempted to recover from a disappointing start to his second round.

And he did. Somewhat. He birdied two of his last three holes — thanks in part, perhaps, to the sheer amount of supporters he and his playing partners Sergio Garcia and Truong Chi Quan accumulated just before darkness fell.

The golf — and all the fun surrounding it — resumes tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. with the resumption of the second round and, with any cooperation from the weather, the completion of the third round, as well.

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