Rain Playing Havoc in York


Futures TourYORK, Pa. -- Mother Nature nearly put the squeeze on the second round of the $75,000 York Newspaper Company Futures Classic, but after two weather delays totaling five hours and two inches of rain in 45 minutes, play finally resumed at 5:20 PM.
That meant the last group of leaders, scheduled to tee off at 2 PM, hit their first tee shots at 7 PM.
It reminds me of going to play golf after work when I used to teach at Stratton Golf School in Vermont, said first-round leader and defending champion, Michelle Murphy of Tacoma, Wash., who got in two holes before play was suspended for darkness. I used to say I wish I had a headlight on my hat so I could play 18.
Illuminated headwear, of course, wasnt an option for the field on the Regents Glen Country Club course that played longer than its 6,171 yards. The days first weather suspension came at 10:58 AM, and resumed at 12:01 PM. The one-hour, three-minute delay was followed by a second suspension at 1:21 PM, which lasted until 5:20 PM.
When the suspension sirens wailed a halt to the end of the day at 7:45 PM, 62 players had completed the second round.
Sixty players will return to the course at 7:30 AM Sunday to complete the second round. A 36-hole cut will be made to the low 70 scores and ties following the second round. The field will then be re-paired according to score, with final-round play beginning on both the first and 10th tees.
Its two holes less that I have to play on Sunday, said Lori Atsedes of Ithaca, N.Y., who trailed first-round leader Murphy by one shot going into the second round. You have to get in as much golf as you can because its the last tournament, theres a big purse and theres a lot riding on this week.
While second-round scores are incomplete, Michele Fuller of Jupiter, Fla., currently holds a two-shot lead at 7-under par over Candy Hannemann of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (who completed six holes) and Murphy (who played two). Fuller attacked flagsticks, scoring birdies on three of the four holes she played. Kathy Choi-Rogers of Huntington Beach, Calif., Atsedes and Lee Ann Walker-Cooper of Cary, N.C., are tied at 4 under.
Grounds crews at the course whipped the fairways and greens into shape within two hours. With torrential rains at mid-day, resumption of play was questionable at times. When the lightning and rain stopped after three hours, players filed out of the packed clubhouse and hung out in the parking lot waiting until the practice areas reopened.
Long delays are more mentally draining than anything because you have to fill your time doing something, said Murphy, who won last years tournament at Briarwood Golf Club, where the event was held for 10 of its 17 years.
As cars in a nearby waterlogged grass parking lot spun out to freedom, players wondered what kind of conditions they would face when they returned to the course. But Atsedes, a veteran pro, was eager to return to the course, if only for a few holes.
These are almost more favorable conditions than if it had not rained, she said. We dont have to worry about hard and firm greens. It will be nice to throw the ball to the pin. Itll be like having two morning rounds because when we play today, then go back out Sunday morning, well have the best greens were going to have.
York Newspaper Company Classic