BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Hell hath not frozen over.
The USGA did not implement lift, clean and place for Thursday’s start of the U.S. Women’s Open.
The women are playing the ball as it lies.
The USGA’s record remains perfect in this area. In 123 years of conducting championships, the governing body still hasn’t implemented lift, clean and place.
It was a source of consternation leading into Thursday’s start for a legion of players who believed Subtropical Storm Alberto’s passing over Shoal Creek as a tropical depression provided the extraordinary circumstance that might motivate the USGA to implement preferred lies. A total of 4.7 inches of rain fell over three days, leading to the closing of the course all of Tuesday and also Wednesday morning.
“There’s going to be mud on every ball,” Cristie Kerr said. “Tropical storms aren’t part of the game.”
With the sun up under blue skies Thursday, the U.S. Women’s Open began on time, providing a sigh of relief for USGA staff, Shoal Creek members and players. Casey Danielson hit the first shot off the first tee and Solar Lee hit the first shot off the 10th tee at 6:40 a.m. CT.