Rain floods course, delays U.S. Open

Published 12:58 am Friday, June 19, 2009

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — About an hour after U.S. Open play was suspended Thursday, a course worker gingerly worked his way across Bethpage Black’s flooded 18th green to remove the flag, futilely trying to avoid leaving footprints.

A few yards away in a swale, wind whipped up waves on a green-long swath of water, exposing the top of a player’s white ball marker.

Back down the fairway in the soggy landing area, a yellow drainage hose bisected meandering ribbons of standing water.

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‘‘Believe it or not, as much rain as this course has taken, it drains beautifully, with really the exception of that area down in 18 fairway,’’ said Jim Hyler, the chairman of the USGA’s championship committee.

In a low-lying area just beyond the large bunker complex that lines the right side of the fairway, a nearly 2-foot deep pond left the few remaining spectators with little choice but to trudge along the narrow muddy bank.