Bad weather is coming for Saturday’s scheduled third round of the Portugal Masters. So, in their effort to get play in before the expected storms around lunchtime, European Tour officials and tournament organizers have agreed to start the third round with a shotguns start beginning at 8 a.m.
Heavy rain and high winds are expected to preclude the possibility of play, so there was no other choice in the eyes of organizers. The lead players will go off the first tee at Oceanico Victoria Golf Club, with each of the 18 holes having a threesome or foursome on it. Officials have also decided not to cut the putting surfaces, so as to accommodate potential 30-40 mph winds. Also, several tees will be moved up to shorten the course.
This is only the second time in European Tour history that a shotgun start was required to get play completed. The final round of the 1994 Czech Open was also played under a shotgun start.
Andy Sullivan leads the tournament at the halfway mark at 14-under 128 by three shots over Thomas Pieters.