Optimism and relief were the moods of the day Wednesday at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, where the LPGA and Donald Trump said that the course's hurried, beleaguered construction process was on track for the Sept. 30 Office Depot Championship.
The final patches of sod were laid early this week, water flowed from the newly built waterfall behind the first hole and construction on the driving range is underway and expected to be completed in plenty of time for Annika Sorenstam to defend her title in the tournament.
Unforeseen delays in securing permits have caused delays in construction and, as recently as mid-July, there were questions about whether the course would be completed in time. And even though it probably will not open to the public until after the LPGA leaves town -- four months after the originally scheduled June 1 opening -- the LPGA should have no problems with its tournament.
Trump expressed relief that the waterfall on No. 1 was operational and that the first green was fit for play. Wednesday was the first time anyone had played the 18 holes.
"Getting the waterfalls approved was no easy feat," he said to the media by telephone from New York. "It took a long time. The approval process was very difficult, but we got the approvals and we built something very special."
Carolyn Bivens, LPGA commissioner, may have held her breath as the date drew close and the course had not been finished, but she said she never doubted it would be done.
"Fortunately, he has the resources to be able to pull off whatever has to be done," Bivens said of Trump.