Jun
13
2013
Mother Nature takes early lead, play suspended at U.S. Open
By Stephanie Wei under US Open
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Graphic that greets you when you go to Weather.com

The weather is winning so far at the 113th edition of the U.S. Open, but that has been the theme all year on the PGA Tour. The first round at Merion Golf Club was halted at 8:36am ET due to thunderstorms, strong winds, heavy rain and possibly hail.

The storied golf course has already endured six inches of rain in the past week, which has led to soft conditions (and the recipe for mud balls this weekend).

The forecast for the rest of the day doesn’t look promising, with the worst of the storms scheduled to hit the Philadelphia area later this afternoon. Yikes.

I was told last night that the Tour meteorologist was predicting that it might be worse than the derecho at the AT&T National last year — and while I hope he’s wrong, he’s right the majority of the time.

Last summer’s storm at Congressional was so severe that officials closed Congressional to spectators on Saturday. I’m still not sure how they got the course ready in time. The damage left millions without power (including the media hotel and I know it could have been much worse but it wasn’t a pleasant weekend).

Hey, fans, stay home and be safe. Seriously. I heard way too many horror stories and freak accidents involving open spaces and lightning — particularly at past majors — last night. At the end of the day, it’s just a golf tournament.

Graeme McDowell tweeted the picture below of the weather radar on his phone (which just so happens to be the same one I use — good choice!), along with the text: “Play has just been suspended here in Merion. Could be a very long day. Looks like a large storm. #gutted”
Merion weather

 

Now the question is how much golf will be played on Thursday. It is going to be a long one, folks. Buckle up!

Meanwhile, Ian Poulter birdied his first three holes to take the weather-delayed lead. Nicolas Colsaerts is two-under — along with Tim Clark, Charley Hoffman and Charl Schwartzel — through seven.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I’m betting Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, who are supposed to tee off at 1:14pm, can stay in the PJs and watch movies until further notice. In other words, they won’t hit a golf ball today.

Stay tuned for updates.