Accenture Match Play interview: Mark Russell

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February 20, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Accenture Match Play transcripts archive

CHRIS REIMER:  We want to welcome Mark Russell, vice president of rules and competition for the PGA TOUR and tournament director here this week.  Mark, obviously an abnormal situation here at the Accenture Match Play Championship.  Just go through today's events if you could.

MARK RUSSELL:  Well, first of all, we like to have walk‑around days for Stewart Williams.  That means he can walk around, goof off, do whatever he wants to do, doesn't have to sit there and look at that computer.  Didn't happen, though.  Hopefully the next few days we're going to have walk‑around days, though, right, Stewart?
You know, we just got this snowstorm.  It was predicted, but once we got, what, an inch, two inches of snow, and even if it melted in the next hour or so, it would still take another hour and a half, probably a little more than that, let the golf course drain where we could play.  We were just spinning our wheels.  So we just decided to pull the plug on it.
We're working up some numbers right now.  We'll have an announcement a little later this afternoon about when we're going to start back tomorrow.  We want to confer with our television partners and see when we can play, finish on television tomorrow, and then we want to look at a couple other things about finishes.
But I don't think we'll have any problem at all if the weather remains nice, finishing Sunday on time.

Q.  You've been doing this job for 30‑plus years; where does this rank as far as the bizarreness of weather?

MARK RUSSELL:  It's right there.

Q.  Compared to (inaudible)?

MARK RUSSELL:  That was pretty crazy, too.  It's just climate change, you know, what can you say?

Q.  When you look at scheduling the rest of the week, is Saturday‑‑ does it seem to be the opportunity to kind of shoehorn more in because there are only four matches?

MARK RUSSELL:  Well, there's a possibility.  We've got a lot of possibilities with this small of a field, and it cuts itself in half every time we have a series of matches.  We have a lot more leeway in this situation than we would have in 144‑man or 156‑man stroke play competition.

Q.  I know you'll make the announcement later, but do you look at tomorrow starting a little later to account for this frost that may or may not be there?

MARK RUSSELL:  All that'll come into play, absolutely.

Q.  Other than here two years ago when it snowed before the final on Sunday, can you think of another round on TOUR in your 30‑plus years that this has been an issue?

MARK RUSSELL:  It snowed here another time when we were playing at The Gallery at Tucson National we had a snow problem.  It was the Tucson Open.  We were playing Tucson National, and we were playing up at The Gallery, probably late '90s, mid to late '90s.

CHRIS REIMER:  Thank you, Mark, appreciate it.  Good luck out there.

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