The skies were sunny Friday morning with a temperature nearing 80 degrees, going to a high in the mid-80s. The forecast calls for the same conditions Saturday and Sunday.
I went down to announce the plan to the players (Thursday evening), and generally when you have something like this, theres a lot of negatives being said and criticism about why didnt we do this and that, said Meeks. But I had not one negative comment. Most of the players came up and said, Good job in all of this.
I must admit, I congratulate the players for their positive attitude on realizing weve got a tough thing to try to get back on schedule. But theyre going to be very cooperative. So were very pleased about that.
Mark Calcavecchia was one of the players who finished their first round Friday morning, and he said the course was as docile as its going to get.
Its not going to get any easier than it is right now, he said. Youll see some good scores if it stays like this. The greens are a lot softer and slower (than Thursday), so its as easy as this course will ever play in a U.S. Open.
Retief Goosen got to 6-under-par before making bogey on two of the last three holes and finishing at 4-under 66 to lead the field.
The U.S. Open sends everyone off the No. 1 tee, which differs from the PGA Tour events where players go off both No. 1 and No. 10 the first two rounds. Meeks said there is little chance that the USGA method will ever change.
It gives you about two hours, as far as finishing in the evening, said Meeks. When you have something like this (the Thursday postponement) theres about a 3 , four-hour difference for the next days tee times. I dont like it, either ' I like it for other events, but not the U.S. Open.
The worst such occurrence in recent Open history was at Oak Hill in Detroit in 1989.
We had so much rain, but there was a big drain down towards the seventh hole that a piece of plywood that was used for the players to walk across was washed downstream, said Meeks. Then it went up against a culvert and served as a dam, and so its blocking the water.
So now the water comes out over the golf course. It was amazing how quickly they got the course back. And they had to use a crane to pull this piece of plywood off the culvert so the water could get through.'