CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) – As sure as the ball will fly 10 percent farther at altitude, the International will be delayed by rain.

For the 20th straight year, weather delayed the PGA Tour’s only stop in Colorado. Heavy, persistent rain wiped out play Thursday, meaning the tournament will begin Friday, when the forecast for calls for a 30 percent chance of rain.

Thus the tournament was added to a long list of weather problems on the tour this season. This is the 15th tournament to be disrupted by rain, but the first day to be completely washed out since the BellSouth Classic in April.

PGA Tour officials said they would try to get the first round in Friday, then determine the rest of the schedule depending on how things go.

The PGA Championship is next week. Most players want to be at that venue to begin practicing Monday, but PGA Tour official Slugger White said the Tour would not make any decisions based on the season’s final major.

“The International is our main concern and that’s what we deal with,” White said. “If Monday is part of it, then that’s where we’re going.”

As part of it’s unique scoring system, the International cuts its field to 36 players for the final round. With the limited field, there’s a decent chance of completing the tournament on Sunday even with an entire day lost.

But afternoon thunderstorms are the norm in Colorado and there’s at least a chance the tournament would finish on a Monday for the first time, which could force some players to change plans for next week.

“My guess would be if a player makes it to the fourth round and it goes to Monday, no one’s going to jump ship,” Brad Faxon said. “That’s payday.”

When players do tee it up, they’ll be on a soggy course, which may nullify some of the distance gains they get from playing at 6,300 feet.

On Thursday, bunkers filled with water, water pooled on the 18th green and on numerous low spots around the course. Ducks could be seen swimming across a little stream created by the rain on the ninth fairway.

Through noon Thursday, Castle Rock had received 2.27 inches over the previous 24 hours.

“The guys who hit it high and long will have an advantage, for sure,” David Toms said.

The International is the only tournament on tour that uses the modified Stableford scoring system, one that awards five points for eagles, two for birdies, nothing for pars and deducts a point for bogeys. It’s a system that rewards aggressiveness, especially on holes like the 498-yard, par-5 17th, where last year’s champion, Rod Pampling, made eagle en route to his first PGA Tour win.

AP-ES-08-04-05 1637EDT

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