Hunter Mahan Rain washes out first-round play in the BMW Championship at Bellerive Country Club

More than three inches of rain in the St. Louis area Thursday forced the postponement of first-round play in the BMW Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Slugger White, the PGA Tour's vice president of rules and competition, said that the golf course was under water in several places after the deluge and was simply unplayable Thursday.

"It may be as bad as I've seen in a long, long time," White told reporters. "It's a shame, but we're not going to play, obviously, today."

Thursday's tee times were pushed back to Friday for the 69-player field. The relatively small size will aid in getting the tournament back on schedule, and White said the plan is to play 36 holes Saturday.

Considering the circumstances, Hunter Mahan said he has no problem with playing 36 holes on Saturday in the third event of four stops in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.

"It's not going to be a big deal playing 36," Mahan told reporters. "This course is pretty simple to walk. It's not really hilly or anything like that."

Mahan said there can be advantages to playing 36 holes in one day.

"If you get playing well, it could really help you out because you just keep going and keep going and keep making birdies," Mahan said. "I don't think it's a plus or minus, but if you definitely get on the right momentum, you can definitely ride it for a long time."

Mahan said the wet conditions would definitely change how the course plays, especially early on.

"There are a couple holes that are really long and it's just going to make them longer, but it is going to make the greens softer," Mahan said. "The greens are big and severe, so you can be more aggressive with the second shots and just fire away at the pins because you know the ball is going to stop."

The rain stopped Thursday afternoon in time for crews to get an early start working on the course. Also working in the PGA Tour's favor is the fact that Bellerive has recently installed a new drainage system.

White said he was confident play would start Friday and that the forecast is calling for a "beautiful" day. He said there's an outside chance of more rain late Sunday, but added that the forecast for the rest of the weekend was favorable.

September 5, 2008

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