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U.S. Open looking at a soggy start

June 11, 2013|By David Wharton
  • The umbrellas were out during a rainy practice round for the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
The umbrellas were out during a rainy practice round for the U.S. Open on… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )

The forecast for Ardmore, Pa., calls for thunderstorms and a 40% chance of rain later Tuesday, which would actually be an improvement for Merion Golf Club.

The site of the 2013 U.S. Open is slogging through a wet week that has limited practice time for arriving players.

"I've seen the inside of the clubhouse a lot and restaurants," Adam Scott quipped. "I've haven't been able to get out much."

Rain fell for much of Monday, forcing officials to shut down the course twice, and more inclement weather is predicted through the scheduled start of the tournament on Thursday. In other words, this will not be a fast, dry track.

"You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry," Ernie Els said. "I don't care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways, it's not going to dry up."

The No. 11 hole is of particular concern. Officials have an emergency plan that would see players shift from the East Course to the adjacent West Course for a couple of holes if 11 and 12 are deemed too soggy.

On Monday, crews squeegeed the greens and bailed away standing water.

"No. 11 is the lowest point on the golf course and it's where two creeks come together," superintendent Matt Shaffer said. "But we've had two major rain events and both of which the green has managed to stay above water, which is a good thing."

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