US Open forecasts looks troubling

Will the greens be too wet for play today? Rikard Larma/METRO
Will the greens be too wet for play today? Rikard Larma/METRO

You might want to bring an umbrella – they’re selling for $36 in the gift shop.

The National Weather Service predicts heavy rains will meet spectators and golfers as the first round of the US Open tournament kicks off today at Merion Golf Club.

A flood watch is in effect as forecasters warn of strong winds, thunderstorms and hail descending upon the Main Line. Forecasts predict up to three inches of rain between Wednesday night and this afternoon.

Forecasters predict the heaviest rain will begin around 5 a.m. this morning and continue throughout the day.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is the rest of the weekend should stay relatively dry. Some excess rain may stretch into Friday morning, but nothing substantial is expected.

Earlier in the week, Mike Davis, executive director of the United States Golf Association, said the course drains well. Since Merion hosts two courses – East and West – If flooding does persist, some holes could shift from East to West. Davis called this scenario a “10,000 to 1″ shot.

Yesterday, Davis said they are expecting inclement weather, they just don’t know how much.

“It depends on really what hits us or how lucky or unlucky we are,” Davis said. “There could be some really high winds with us, potentially damaging winds, even some hail. … So, again, that’s kind of the worst case scenario.”

Reg Jones, senior director of Open Championships, said if golfers complete four hours of play, it will count as a full day for ticket holders.

“If we do not complete four hours of play, then we will look at either a possible refund situation or possibly accommodating those tickets on another day,” Jones said.



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