Day One of the 2013 U.S. Open is underway and the theme for Monday is simple: “This is gonna be a disaster…”
There was only one way this year’s national golf championship at Merion could be derailed. One way – one word: Rain.
Consider it wrecked — as of Monday afternoon, anyway.
Nearly 3.5 inches of rain fell here Friday and Saturday and the heavens opened up again just before 3pm today. Forecasters expect another inch or so of rain late this afternoon, making a facility already on the verge of being a complete mess in danger of becoming a nightmare for players and spectators alike.
No matter how much sun this place sees in the next day or so (and not much is expected), it’s not going to dry out in time for Thursday’s first round. The opening 36 holes – at least – will be played in wet, soggy conditions and the rough, already at a troublesome height, might be almost unplayable by the weekend. The USGA has no plans to cut the varying degrees of rough between now and next Sunday, so it literally might mean any ball not finding the fairway is at least going to result in a bogey.
My guess is this will be the last time you see a U.S. Open here. Not so much because of the weather, but more because the facility just can’t withstand the traffic on the property itself from spectators, media and hospitality people moving around to faciliate their various duties.
Prior to the rain coming, I assumed the players would really enjoy the venue.
Now, having seen it all in person, I imagine they despise it already. The practice area isn’t even on the Merion East Course. In order to practice, players have to take a shuttle of about 4-6 minutes from the East Course to the 7th hole of the West Course.
It’s only Monday, but it looks like this move to Merion might have been a mistake.
Let’s hope not.