The root structure of the greens was so meager and the surface grass was so sparse, club officials three weeks ago elected to remove the sod in the affected sections, replace the sand base, then re-seed the greens with winter rye grass, a PGA Tour official said Tuesday.
The root of the crisis, if you will, remains unclear. The tournament begins March 13.
"It stumped a lot of people," said tour rules official Jon Brendle, who took a first-hand look at the ailing Bay Hill Club & Lodge greens on Monday. "They brought in a lot of people to look at the problem and they didn’t have a clue."
Emergency surgery or not, Brendle said the greens have grown in nicely and should present better surfaces than those seen at some of the West Coast stops, like ever-bumpy Pebble Beach, he said.
"I can tell you they have come a long way in 2 1/2 weeks," he said. "I mean, it's fixed for the tournament."
I do not like making the pace. It gets harder and harder as you go. The other fellows, with nothing on their minds but their hair, are shooting the works while you keep wondering if you hadn’t better be careful and try not to lose any strokes, which is the best possible way of losing them. BOBBY JONES