|Changing skies over Merion on Thursday. (© USGA/Darren Carroll)|
FIRST-ROUND PLAY OF THE U.S. OPEN resumed after a nearly four-hour suspension due to thunderstorms. Here’s how the USGA has set up Merion’s East Course for Thursday, taking into account the anticipated storms.
(Setup details were provided by USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.)
Green Speeds – Today’s green speeds before the rain were in the 13- to 13½-foot range on the USGA Stimpmeter. They will likely settle out in the mid-to-high 12s when play resumes.
Rough Grass – In anticipation of today’s weather event, the closer-in (roughly 18 feet in width) rough grass in the drive zones, as well as the closer-in (9 feet in width) greenside rough on some of the holes, was mowed last night.
Weather Affecting Course Setup Decisions – Hole locations for Round 1 were chosen based on the forecast for heavy rains. Further, teeing grounds and hole locations that have more slope were chosen based on the forecast for winds predominantly out of the south for Thursday. However, winds will switch to predominantly from the north on Friday (when we will likely still be playing Round 1). The intent is to provide fair conditions with the knowledge that there will likely be wind in opposite directions for Round 1.
Total Course Yardage for Thursday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,760 yards out; 3,206 yards in = 6,966 total yards
Based on the current forecast at Weather.com, it looks like there could be a window for extended play this afternoon. Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for late afternoon or early evening.