11 morning groups remained on the course, along with 10 afternoon groups that had not even teed off yet, when the third and final suspension of the day was called at the 56th U.S. Womens Open.
USGA Director of Womens Rules and Competitions Kendra Graham gave some insight to the potential scenarios that may follow based on the weather delays.
Well interestingly enough we dodged several bullets this morning - - despite the three suspensions that weve had. Um, I dont know if youve heard, but there have been tornados and golf ball size hail in Raleigh, NC so it could have been worse, Graham said.
Right now there is heavy rain and the storm has a lot of lightning in it - which is obviously such a huge concern for us. It should be through here at about 5:30 pm. We told the players at 3:30 pm that we would give them another update a 5:30 so we gave them two hours to go back to their rooms if they want to. Now at 5:30 although we should still have some rain it should be much lighter in nature. Now at the time we made the announcement for the two-hour window we didnt know how much rain would come down - and weve had a lot so far. Our plan was at 5:30 to assess the golf course. Unfortunately there is more rain than we expected.
'Its a possibility that we would have to go to (pairing of) threes in round three but well do everything we can to go in twos. But there are still so many ifs because we dont know how much rain well get tonight. Our plan is to play in twos off of one tee ' thats our hope.
This is not the first time the Open has suffered from weather delays. During the 1987 Championship at Plainfield Country Club play was completed on Tuesday because of weather and a playoff.
The USGA follows strict criteria when assessing the condition of a golf course. When play is suspended due to weather the Officials along with the superintendent will take a look at the golf course to ascertain what condition it is in and the amount of work necessary to make it once again playable.
The first and foremost (criteria) is to play under the rules of golf. What we will look at first is the bunkers as far as how much washout there is and how much work it will take to make the course playable again, said Graham. 'On Monday, with the rain we had, the bunkers drained very well.
I was just with the course superintendent Dave Fruchte and I can tell you already weve had more rain than we had on Monday. I mean the driving range right now is just totally under water. I will tell you initially we had hoped to asses the golf course at 5:30 and he felt like her could, at the time we talked that we could resume play at 6:15 or 6:30 pm. Im not sure thats possible now - - with the amount of rain thats fallen.
Two inches of rain had been recorded by 4:45 pm with more falling.
Play was officially suspended for the day. The driving range will open at 5:45 am Saturday while the completion of round two scheduled to resume on Saturday at 7:00 am.