Rain suspends play at U.S. Senior Open

Columbus, OH — Non-stop rain resulted in a cancellation of play at the U.S. Senior Open Championship without a single shot being struck.

A total of 2.36 inches of rain have fallen over Scioto Country Club resulting in Sunday’s cancellation of play.

“As we evaluated the golf course after what came through today, our evaluation and communication to the players was basically based on the weather forecast,” USGA Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions & Equipment Standards John Bodenhamer said. “As we got back out on the golf course, more specifically, to evaluate it a little bit closer, it was clear to us that we were not going to be able to properly play today so we made the determination to cancel play.”

This means that with the potential for more inclement weather coming Monday, Miguel Angel Jimenez will maintain his one stroke lead over Gene Sauers.

“I guess today, why they cancelled it is because they said if you had to take casual water, you’d have to go over to the end of the rough to drop it,” Sauers said. “That’s the main reason why they cancelled it today, I think.”

Play will instead be scheduled to resume at 7:30 Monday morning with threesomes teeing off on split tees.

Early Sunday afternoon, play was scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. with the intention being getting as much play as possible in.

Shortly before the opening groups were set to tee of the USGA elected to cancel play deeming areas of Scioto Country Club as unplayable.

Initially split tees were called for the final round which was to begin at 10:45 local time in Columbus, but rain delayed play, ultimately pushing it back a day.

There were differing opinions among the golfers about the decisions.

“I think I would have liked to at least try to get in nine today so I can catch an earlier flight home tomorrow,” said Sauers. “I’ve been gone for two weeks. I’m ready to see my dogs. And my wife. Make sure you put that in there too.”

“Probably the best thing is that we didn’t play,” Scott Dunlap said. “I’m always the kind of guy that like, ‘when play’s ending, can you finish the last hole?’ Yeah, just the idea of starting in the middle of something just always kind of seems unpalatable. So I think it’s probably best that nothing happened today. Start fresh tomorrow, hopefully.”

All told the players ended up spending hours in the clubhouse catching up with each other, watching the Olympics and enjoying the day though there are some hassles the players have to deal with off the golf course.

“We checked out of our hotel, and we’re worrying about plane tickets and everything else,” said Glen Day. “So I’m going to go back in, sit down for a minute, and get reorganized, and we’ll go at ’em tomorrow.”

Monday’s forecast projects around a half-inch of rain in the earlier morning hours but the possibly inclement weather is expected to clear up before the afternoon which means there is potential for play to be completed.

“We think we’ve got a shot,” said Bodenhamer. “We’re going to have a drying period overnight, and we think we’ve got a shot to get it in tomorrow.”

The 19th hole

All tickets that have been used through U.S. Senior Open week will be honored as grounds tickets for Monday’s round.

“We plan to keep all of our pairings that were scheduled to play together today intact,” USGA Director of Competitions Matt Sawicki said. “We look forward to welcoming spectators who supported us all week from Central Ohio. All tickets throughout the week will be honored tomorrow for admission. That is, all tickets will be honored for grounds admission tomorrow for the final round of the U.S. Senior Open.”

He said it



Q. So how did you kill your time?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I guess I got in here about 10:00 and had breakfast, and I had a cigar. Then I had a little light — some tuna. Then I might have had another cigar. And then I just had some lunch. I was going to start getting ready, and now it’s been called. So overall, it’s been a pretty good day. I mean, it’s a day I kind of like, you know. I forego the cocktails today, so it was good.

Q. Has there ever been a USGA Championship played lift, clean, and place, or was that even a consideration?
JOHN BODENHAMER: There has not been a championship that the USGA has conducted that’s been played under lift, clean, and place.

We have 116-year tradition of playing the ball down, and it is our intention to continue that tradition. It’s something that we just want to maintain. If we’ve been able to do it all this long, we want to continue it.

Q. Has a USGA event ever been shortened to 54 holes, and what are the circumstances under which that would take place?
JOHN BODENHAMER: We have not shortened any of our Opens over our history. Our intention is to play 72 holes, and we will endeavor to do that.

Q. I would appreciate it, if you wouldn’t mind, just how you’ve been passing the time today?
STEPHEN AMES: Oh, you don’t want to know that. I am definitely not giving that one an answer.

FEMALE: No quote from his girlfriend.

STEPHEN AMES: No, not at all. I watched a movie and sat in the hotel room. Just looking at the day itself and then watching the weather all day, it was kind of obvious that we weren’t going to be playing much golf.

I think the fact that they kind of jumped the ball at 3:30, saying we’re teeing it up, I even thought that was a bit far-fetched. Anyway, I think it’s a good decision.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: “Disappointing, isn’t it, that this tournament, as we know, should have been in June where the weather is normally not as humid. Excess humidity causes this in August, and it’s unfortunate. But, hey, we’ll come back tomorrow.”

COLIN MONTGOMERIE: Oh, that’s okay. Christ, I go three months without playing. Don’t you worry about this. A day’s fine. I’ll just go to the mall this afternoon, have a look around, and get ready for the first tee shot at 8:12 I go tomorrow morning. I’m looking forward to it.

Chris Dazen also contributed to this article


Author: Zac Weiss

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