U.S. Senior Open: Course and tournament officials preparing for more bad weather

BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, Staff Writer, cstavenhagen@opubco.com Modified: July 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm •  Published: July 9, 2014
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photo - Bob Tway crosses the bridge from the fourth green to the fifth tee during practice rounds for the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla. on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, The Oklahoman
Bob Tway crosses the bridge from the fourth green to the fifth tee during practice rounds for the U.S. Senior Open golf tournament at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla. on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, The Oklahoman

EDMOND -- Rain and lightning forced a delay in Wednesday morning’s practice rounds at U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, and with more rain in the forecast for Thursday morning, the tournament could see another delay before its opening round.

Jeff Hall, the USGA’s managing director of rules and competitions, said lightning was a bigger reason for Wednesday’s delays than the estimated .91 inches of rain on the course. The USGA contracts an on-site meteorologist to monitor conditions.

“I was getting updates at 4 this morning and was out here shortly thereafter to see where we were,” Hall said. “Until we got an all clear we didn’t let the ground staff or anybody get out on the golf course. This is not new for us. We monitor this and clearly the paramount issue is safety of the payers, spectators and those who are working.”

As far as possibilities for Thursday and the rest of the week, Hall said the staff will push harder to get tournament rounds going than it did Wednesday. The plan of action is to get the tournament started as soon as possible. Pushing the event back a day is reserved for only the worst-case scenario.

“Practice days, it’s a little bit more relaxed in that regard,” Hall said. “But we’re not going to make a move out on the golf course until it’s safe to do so.

“I guess there’s a chance we could experience what we did what we did this morning, but boy, I sure hope that’s a minimal chance.”

U.S. Senior Open staff members will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss more about the rain’s impact on the course and plans for Thursday.