In rainy Rochester, more shopping than swinging
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Brittany Lang’s Thursday afternoon agenda: wedding gown shopping. With play canceled for the day at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Lang and several of her bridesmaids will be scouring dresses at the local David’s Bridal. With a forecast that called for 90 percent rain, it’s not exactly a surprising development. Still, it’s believed to be the first time in 37 years that a shot wasn’t hit at Wegmans.
“Obviously the course isn’t draining that well,” said Lang, “so once we made that first announcement, I knew we were going to sit in the clubhouse for a while.”
Two weeks ago in the Bahamas, rain came down so violently players were fishing in the fairways. The tour cut rounds down to 12 holes to get in the required 36 needed to make it an official event. Things shouldn’t get that drastic here in New York, but more rain is expected on Friday, making a Monday finish an unfortunate possibility.
“The goal is to get in 72 and Monday is still on the table,” said LPGA rules official Sue Witters. “Basically it has never stopped raining.”
With numerous greens under water and fairways puddling, the grounds crew never had a chance to get out and squeegee. Locust Hill had received over an inch of rain as of 1 p.m. Witters said the weather system wreaking having on Rochester is 140 miles deep.
The good news: The best day for weather is Sunday, when officials will try to pack in 36 holes.
For many players, the LPGA Championship marks their fourth consecutive event. They’re run-down from travel and mentally fatigued. A weather-delayed week – at a major no less – means this will be a strong test of fortitude.
“It’s going to be a real drain mentally to stay focused,” said Paige Mackenzie, who told friends and family she didn’t even want to talk about home she was so tired of being on the road.
Tiffany Joh was on the range solo hitting drivers in a steady rain when officials canceled play for the day. She had checked the weather back home in San Diego: sunny and 70. Originally scheduled for an afternoon tee time, Joh spent the morning a Tim Horton’s. She planned to spend her afternoon at a local guitar shop, where she has been a regular this week.
Stacy Lewis also went out and hit balls in the rain before playing cards with Brittany Lincicome in the locker room. She planned to get lunch and maybe go see a movie.
“It’s kind of nice,” Lewis said. “You know, we don’t usually get days off, a full day off at least.”
As for Lang, she and bridesmaid Paula Creamer were off to sift through mounds of silk. Lang’s fiance proposed on television during the LPGA event in Dallas in April. A Jan. 11 wedding is planned in McKinney, Texas. Tour players Angela Stanford, Katie Futcher, Lincicome and Creamer will all be part of Lang’s bridal party.
“Paula and Morgan and all the girls threw a party for us in the Bahamas, and Kevin was there, so it was perfect,” said Lang.
A handful of diehards were on the range and the putting green as rain continued to pour Thursday afternoon.
“It’s Rochester, and everybody has been through this dance before,” Witters said. “I’m not nervous yet.”