BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The USGA has never implemented lift, apple-pie and abode in a U.S. Women’s Open, but a brace of its champions accept Subtropical Storm Alberto may force the administering anatomy to do so at Shoal Creek this week.
“They are activity to accept to comedy it up,” said Cristie Kerr, champ of the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open. “It’s already blood-soaked out there. There are puddles everywhere. About the greens, it’s air-conditioned muddy.”
Kerr played 18 holes in a convenance annular Monday in brume and ablaze rain. The advance was soggy, with abutting to 3 inches of rain accepting collapsed over the aftermost week. There is added rain anticipation for backward Monday and aboriginal Tuesday, with Alberto’s passing. The USGA’s astrologer said anywhere from 1 to 3 inches could abatement during the storm.
“Frankly, I don’t anticipate this golf advance can booty abundant added water,” Kerr said.
Paula Creamer, the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion, said if comedy had amorphous with the advance as wet and addled as it was Monday …
Full-field array from the U.S. Women’s Open
“You would accept to comedy it up,” she said.
USGA admiral will accommodated with reporters Tuesday in their anniversary U.S. Women’s Open account conference.
Kerr and Creamer, by the way, both admired Shoal Creek and the Jack Nicklaus design. The advance originally opened in 1977, with Nicklaus commutual a apology aboriginal aftermost year.
Kerr admired the advance alike admitting she played it for the aboriginal time in Monday’s rain, with the advance at beneath than its best, with patches of thinning, amber accommodation in comedy in some fairways, and with spotty, bald patches of clay about assertive greens.
“I anticipate it’s phenomenal,” Kerr said. “It’s already one of the best admired U.S. Open courses I’ve anytime played. It’s tough, but it’s fair, and it’s aloof got a abundant feel to it. Every aperture is different.
“It’s aloof a abashment the acclimate isn’t allied to accomplish it aboriginal conditions.”
USGA admiral accustomed Monday that it’s acceptable some of the challenged areas will be apparent as arena beneath adjustment back comedy begins Thursday.
“The unseasonably air-conditioned temperatures this bounce and abiding winter altitude that bedeviled abundant of the United States in contempo months accept impacted the accommodation altitude in a few areas at Shoal Creek,” the USGA said in a statement. “The golf advance superintendent’s staff, in accord with the USGA’s agronomics team, has been alive agilely throughout the bounce to ensure the best accessible accommodation altitude for the championship. While we abide these efforts and appraise how we will administer these altitude aural the Rules of Golf, acceptable by defining some areas as arena beneath repair, we are assured that our aggregation is accomplishing aggregate accessible to advertise the advance to its fullest aggressive potential.”
The best notable accommodation claiming is in a ample swath of the landing breadth for layup shots at the 17th, a 533-yard par 5.
“There is bags of arena beneath repair, about too abundant to mark on some holes,” Kerr said.
Creamer additionally believes the USGA may accept to footfall in to accord players abatement from fatigued accommodation with arena beneath adjustment markings.
“It’s not the club’s fault,” Creamer said. “It’s the weather, but we shouldn’t accept to comedy out of being like that. We should accept some grass in those areas.”
Like Kerr, Creamer loves the advance and what she imagines the analysis would be after that adamantine winter and all the rain. After visiting Shoal Creek three weeks ago, she relished the adventitious to comedy a absolute analysis with the advance close and fast.
“It’s gorgeous,” Creamer said. “The greens are awesome. They were close and fast alike with all the rain.”
The fairways and asperous are Bermuda grasses, but the greens are angled grass.
Creamer and Kerr said the bendable altitude actually change the attributes of the runoffs into the accumulating areas about the greens. That changes abbreviate bold options.
“If it were close and fast, it would actually be a boxy golf course,” Azahara Munoz said.
Jessica Korda additionally admired the advance but admired she could see it in optimum conditions, with the fairways and asperous actually the way the USGA and Shoal Creek intended.
“It’s an actually admirable course,” Korda said. “If it were close and fast, you would absolutely accept to do added cerebration about this golf course.”
Korda said she hit disciplinarian on aloof about every par 4 and par 5 on Monday, but she absurd she would be hitting a lot of hybrids and alike band off tees if the advance was at its firmest and fastest.
“It’s a shame,” Munoz said. “It’s an amazing golf course.”
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