Nissan Open
Nissan Open
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Adam Scott beats Campbell in playoff

Australia's Adam Scott won the rain-hit Nissan Open in a sudden-death playoff in Los Angeles on Monday.

The 24-year-old edged out American Chad Campbell at the first extra hole, where he tapped in from three feet for a par, after the tournament was reduced to two rounds following four days of heavy rain at Riviera Country Club.

Campbell, who missed the 18th green to the right with his approach, ran up a bogey there after failing to hole out from four feet.

"A win's a win and it's nice to be playing well here," said a jubilant Scott. "I'm pretty pleased with my week at Riviera.

"It's another big week this week (at the WGC-World Match Play Championship starting on Wednesday) and I want to keep my momentum going."

Campbell said: "I hit a bad second shot there and then a poor putt. It's not the easiest of holes to slide in a four-footer."

Organisers were forced to abandon the proposed third round at Riviera on Monday morning after two inches of overnight rain had left the par-71 layout saturated.

Scott, who fired a five-under-par 66 on Sunday, and Campbell, after a 65 on Friday, had finished the 36 holes level on nine-under 133, a stroke ahead of Britons Darren Clarke and Brian Davis.

Seven-times European number one Colin Montgomerie, whose 64 on Sunday was the lowest score of the tournament, was a further shot back in a tie for fifth with American J.L. Lewis.

Tiger Woods, who needed to finish no worse than outright third in the reduced event to reclaim the world number one spot he lost to Vijay Singh in September, had to settle for a share of 13th after a 70.

The Nissan is the first PGA Tour event since the 1996 Buick Open to crown a champion after just two rounds.

Confusing finish likely at Nissan

Chad Campbell did everything he could to protect his lead at the 79th Nissan Open.

He lounged around his hotel room. Watched movies. Ate. Watched basketball. Monitored the happenings at Riviera Country Club on his computer.

"Just try to waste as much time as possible," he said.

Campbell wasted the entire weekend without hitting a shot that counted. He emerged from Riviera on Sunday as the 36-hole co-leader with Adam Scott at 9 under par. Scott posted a 5-under-par 66 in the second round, making a birdie on his final hole that could prove especially lucrative if the rain that has battered Riviera since Thursday doesn't relent.

Tournament officials suspended play at 5:15 p.m. — an hour and 15 minutes before Campbell's third-round tee time — because of rain and lightning. Mark Russell, the PGA Tour tournament director, said the 75 players left in the field are on alert to be ready to resume play at 9:30 a.m. today.

Forecasts call for overnight rain of at least an inch, with another inch likely today. Russell said "the window is closing fast" on any hope of squeezing in a 72-hole tournament. Only 12 players have begun the third round, and none of them had completed more than two holes.

"We are getting into waters here that I can never remember us being in," Russell said. "In my 26 years, maybe once or twice we have sat on Sunday morning without 36 holes played."

If at least half the field completes the final round of an event, then PGA Tour rules mandate the rest of the players must do the same. If half the field cannot complete at least the third round, then the results would revert to where everyone stood at the end of 36 holes. In that case, Campbell and Scott would be in a playoff to determine who gets the $864,000 first-place check. The PGA Tour policy is that if a tournament goes only 36 holes, the players get their prize money, but the winner is not credited with an official victory.

"We have to make every effort to play," Russell said. "We listen to weather forecasts and we look at things. When we got here Monday, there was a monsoon predicted for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Did that happen? It did not happen. So we have to come out here and try."

Russell said it's conceivable the tournament could extend to Tuesday, especially if half the field manages to complete the third round today. And what if weather or course conditions wouldn't permit a Tuesday resolution? The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is scheduled to begin Wednesday just down the road at La Costa, and the Chrysler Classic of Tucson begins Thursday.

"That would be something the commissioner would get involved in," Russell said.

Campbell said he hasn't even hit a practice shot since he polished off a 6-under-par 66 on Friday. Scott said that because of the conditions and forecasts, he played under the assumption his only chance to win was to get in the lead by the end of the second round. On his final hole, the 458-yard No. 9, he rolled in a 22-foot birdie putt to move into a tie with Campbell.

"I did think a little bit, 'This may be the last putt of the week here, so I'd better make it count,' " Scott said.

The last time the tour couldn't get an event past 36 holes was the 1996 Buick Challenge won by Michael Bradley.



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