Just a week ago the attention of the golfing world was focused on “Golf’s Longest Day” as 11 sites across the country hosted Sectional qualifying tournaments as players competed for their place in the 113th United States Open Championship at historic Merion Golf Club. For many of the 56+ qualifiers, the 2013 U.S. Open would represent their first major championship and first time experiencing life inside the ropes at a USGA Championship.
Fast forward a week and those starry eyed qualifiers are now waiting for their chance to experience the U.S. Open. Tropical storms have literally soaked Merion Golf Club delaying practice rounds on Monday. Over 3 1/2 inches fell on Merion Golf Club on Friday and with the added moisture today, the golf course will surely not play as the United States Golf Association intended.
While the focus of the mainstream media will be on the potential decisions facing Mike Davis and Tom O’Toole Jr of the USGA, one has to only wonder how disappointed many of the Sectional qualifiers are today. This was their chance to experience a magical week alongside Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson. Merely hitting balls on the range among the games greatest was going to be a thrill as their family and friends snapped pictures making sure to include Tiger or Adam Scott in the same frame as their hometown hero.
As families across the country rebuild from devastating tornadoes and now the east coast endures another tropical storm, it’s hard to prioritize a golf tournament as a reason for begging Mother Nature to let up a bit. But for the first time US Open participant, for the families and friends who have watched their star grind it out on mini tours for years and suffer the pain of barely missing a cut at Q-School, let’s hope Mother Nature understands what this week means.