The USGA and Mother Nature aren't getting along right now, as Merion Golf Club is currently under siege with torrential rain that has caused some golfers preparing for the 2013 U.S. Open to abandon their practice rounds on Monday.
According to ESPN.com's Bob Harig, three-and-a-half inches of rain pummeled the course—a byproduct of Tropical Storm Andrea:
Officials from Merion Golf Club and the United States Golf Association were scrambling Saturday to get the site of next week's U.S. Open in shape after remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea pummeled the course with 3½ inches of rain.
Rickie Fowler was scheduled to have a practice round with Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley on Monday morning, but he posted an apology to his fans on Twitter after abandoning the round due to the inclement weather:
Harig reported that officials say the course is holding up well, but this heavy rain will certainly affect the way the course will play this weekend.
According to Jason Sobel of Golf Channel, the rain was so bad that the greenside bunker at No. 11 completely filled with water. Grounds officials got to work as quickly as possible to pump the water out, and Sobel reports practice rounds are back on track for Monday.
One of the golfers who took advantage of this opportunity to play was Keegan Bradley, as shown by Alex Miceli of Golfweek magazine:
The USGA prides itself on providing as stiff a test as possible. One method to do this is by creating greens that are as fast as lightning, but the best way to do so is by drying out the course. This rain will likely lead to greens that are softer and much more receptive than officials had anticipated.
Greens that are soft and receptive usually lead to much lower scores than you'd see from greens that are rock-hard and as slippery as ice.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops over the course of the next few days. According to weather.com, there is more rain headed to Ardmore, Pa., from now until Thursday.
Should the rain be substantial enough, it's quite possible that the 2013 U.S. Open could see some delays. Should that happen, it could potentially lead to the tournament concluding on Monday, rather than Sunday.