U.S. Open: Rain won't go away, First round is barely gets started

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The first round of the United States Open at Bethpage greeted golfers with waves of heavy rain and gusts of wind Thursday morning, turning the job of hitting golf shots and holding golf umbrellas into a perilous enterprise.
Play was suspended at 10:16 a.m. Thursday in the hope of resuming Thursday afternoon, but then suspended for the day just before 2 p.m. with more than an inch of rain soaking the course.
The first round of the U.S. Open started Thursday. It won't end until at least Friday, thanks to more rain than Bethpage Black could handle.

Making greens look like swimming pools and creating streams on many fairways, rain pounded an already-waterlogged course Thursday and prompted a stoppage less than 3½ hours after play began. The United States Golf Association had its fingers crossed for a "three- to five-hour" window for competition in the afternoon.

But the rain did not let up and the round was officially postponed at approximately 2 p.m. The first round will resume at 7:30 a.m. Friday.

"Where's my canoe," mused Ian Poulter on his Twitter feed during the delay.

Oh, and while Friday's forecast isn't as bad, more rain is possible. Reports USToday online.

The National Weather Service said up to 2 inches of rain was possible during the day. "The volume of rain falling was outpacing our ability to squeegee the greens," Hyler said, as rain pelted the tent he was standing in, a constant, ominous pitter-patter. "That was the bottom line. The greens just became unplayable and we needed to suspend."


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