Angela Park still sits on top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Women's Open, despite not even getting on the golf course for her second round. Rain continued to delay the golf at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club Friday. Saturday tee times have been pushed back significantly to allow second round action to be made up.
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. - It was the golf course itself, Oakmont Country Club, that got all the attention at the men's U.S. Open two weeks ago.
Each round, including the practice rounds earlier in the week, have had a weather delay of some duration. Friday the delays were significant. . The day began with players already behind schedule. Second round tee times were pushed back 2 hours and 15 minutes to let afternoon players from Thursday finish their opening rounds. Play was suspended briefly from 1:47 p.m. to 2:16 p.m. Then play was halted an hour later, then called off entirely at 5:30 p.m. due to storms in the area.
Friday, only 24 of the 78 morning players finished before play was called for the day. Defending champion Annika Sorenstam began the day in good position at 1-under, but struggled in the second round. Play was suspended as she was on her last hole of the day.
"I was asking a few people to look back on USGA record books to see if we'd ever had a championship that we suspended on every single day," said Mike Davis, senior director of rules & competitions. "We don't think we have."
Leader Angela Park never had a chance to get on the golf course for her second round. But she's in good spirits despite the inaction.
"It's not frustrating at all," she said. "I'm just having a good time in the locker room, just waiting for the weather to clear up. But it's not looking very good right now."
Park saw her lead increase from one shot to two, even as she cooled her heels. In-Bee Park was one back before shooting a second round 73 to drop to even par. Also one back to begin the second round, Shiho Oyama was 2-over for the day through 16 holes.
Other players were able to make ground. Kris Tamulis, Angela Stanford and Jeong Jang backed up first-round 72s with even par 71s to sit in a tie for 16th. Hye Jung Choi had the low round of the day: 68 to sit at 3-over for the tournament.
Heading into Saturday, the projected cut is 7-over.
Saturday's schedule has players left on the course to continue their rounds beginning at 7:30 a.m. No players in the afternoon groups Friday teed off and they will resume at 7:30 a.m. as well. The USGA will then make the cut and prepare the course for round three, with tee times for the third round beginning at 3:30 p.m. and featuring threesomes instead of pairs. But USGA officials do not sound optimistic about an uninterrupted day of golf.
"We're supposed to get some pretty heavy rains through the night," said Davis. "Pretty strong storms. From what we're seeing right now or hearing from our meteorologist it probably will stay through mid morning. There's a good chance this 7:30 start won't happen."
Davis did say that the USGA remains committed to a 72-hole championship. That means, despite eliminating a Monday 18-hole playoff format, play could likely spill over past the weekend anyways.
"Maybe unlike a Tour event that might think twice about going into Monday, our plan is to most definitely play 72 holes of stroke play to determine a winner," he said.
June 29, 2007
Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Channel Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours.
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