ARDMORE, Pa. – In Southern California, one might think rainy weather is fine. But here at the Walker Cup, just outside Philadelphia at Merion Golf Club, the constant rain is certainly not welcome.
In the past 20 days, more than 22 inches of rain has fallen on Merion. So much rain has fallen that the 11th green has been overtaken by water from nearby Cobb’s Creek three times. One of those times, the green was submerged at a depth of 5 1/2 feet.
So with that much rain pounding the golf course – which started the week “crunchy,” according to the U.S. Golf Association’s Mike Davis – it is now soggy and very wet. The incessant rain will obviously change the course conditions, and might make the match a bit more equal than it would have been.
The big reason for this is that U.S. captain Buddy Marucci, who is a member at Merion, knows how this golf course plays when it is hard and fast, but with the wet conditions that advantage pretty much goes out the window.
Both captains think that the wet conditions will put a premium on keeping the ball in the narrow and cantered fairways, but at 6,846 yards, that might not be as important as the captains think.
One thing is for sure: Merion will not play nearly as difficult as the 78.158 scoring average that the course produced during the 2005 U.S. Amateur. Back then, not one hole played under par for two rounds. The most difficult hole was the the par-4 18th, which, at 505 yards, had a scoring average of 4.942.