FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – No, it’s not a shock. But it is official: The U.S. Open will need a Monday finish for the first time in regulation since 1983. Mike Davis, director of rules and competition for the United States Golf Association, just concluded an update with reporters to go over the latest details.
Round three will be resumed, beginning at noon, and it is expected that play will conclude sometime around 4:30 p.m. At that time, Davis said the 60 players would be re-paired and that the fourth round would commence at approximately 5:30 p.m., with players going off of the first and 10th tees. The leaders, Davis estimated, would get in a few holes before play is called for the day, somewhere around 8 p.m.
Davis didn’t know when play would be resumed Monday morning, but the hope is that it would be finished at a reasonable hour “so if we needed a playoff, we could handle it,” he said.
With another eight-tenths of an inch of rain falling overnight, Bethpage Black simply wasn’t playable at 7:30 this morning for the resumption of the third round. Light rain was still falling as of 8, so Davis said the last thing he wanted was to get players in positon, then drag them back off the course.
As for why there’s a one-hour gap between the end of round three and the start of round four, Davis explained that i was simple. “It’s a 25-minute shuttle ride out to No. 10, so it would be blatantly unfair,” Davis said, “to send a guy right from the scorer’s room to the next tee.”
Now, all of this assumes the weather lightens up and cooperates, which is where Davis has his fingers crossed. The rest of Sunday “looks relatively good,” he said. “There could be late showers, but no thunderstorms,” and so long as Bethpage Black doesn’t get pounded with heavy rain, Davis reported that the course “believe it or not, can handle it; water is seeping down.”
In other words, don’t go rushing to that ark – at least not yet.