Ben Kimball (Saturday PM Press Conference)


By USGA
July 9, 2011

RHONDA GLENN:  Ladies and gentlemen, Ben Kimball, the USGA director of the U.S. Women's Open is with us, and he will update us on the schedule tomorrow and the status of how we stand in this championship.  Ben?

BEN KIMBALL:  Thank you, Rhonda.  Good evening, everyone.  Well, it's kind of like groundhog day.  Seems like we have been doing the same thing over and over last couple weeks.  It's very unfortunate we weren't able to get Round 3 completely underway, but it looks like for tomorrow we are resuming play at 6:45 a.m.

I have to tip my hat to the grounds crew here at The Broadmoor.  Each day we've gone a little bit earlier on them, and they've been able to pull their magic tricks out and get us going back earlier than expected, which is great.

But 6:45 a.m. we will resume.  The players that are on the golf course already will resume at 6:45.  The 3:59 afternoon starting time for today will also resume at 6:45, and the remaining start times for Round 3 will fall in 11‑minute intervals after that.  So the last starting time, our leaders will be going off at 8:O2 a.m. tomorrow morning.

As of right now, we are not going to repair for Round 4.  We will turn the players right back around and begin Round 4.  Obviously the weather conditions, you know, we're in a similar pattern tomorrow in what we are today.

Thankfully the conditions of the last couple storms that we had blow through are going to help our chances, are going to clear the atmosphere a little bit.  But it looks like we're gonna see, you know, blue skies in the morning and then probably a similar pattern coming over the mountains by midday to late afternoon.

So all we can do is hope for the best.  You know, we're not gonna leave the Broadmoor until we've played 72 holes and crowned a national champion.

So we're staying very, very positive about it.  Just left our weather room and just had a chat with the maintenance crew, and they're very upbeat about what's going on.  You know, you just can't control Mother Nature.  We'll just keep plugging away and see what happens.

RHONDA GLENN:  Questions?

Q.  All things being equal, you still hope to get everything in tomorrow?  You want a Sunday finish if you can? 

BEN KIMBALL:  Absolutely.  We definitely want a Sunday finish, and we're going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

That's why we're starting at 6:45, to give us the most time in the day to try and get things done.  We're gonna give it our best shot.

Q.  Are you targeting like 40 minutes or an hour between rounds if all things go?  Do you have a target number there?  And has NBC committed something additional based on what's going on here tomorrow? 

BEN KIMBALL:  You know, obviously we want to give the players some time to kind of get a quick bite to eat and be ready to go back out.  They are going to be going back out on the tees they started on.  If you started on No. 10 tee or were starting there on Round 3, you will be going right back out, which makes it pretty easy for us operationally, because if they finish on 9 and want to hit a couple golf shots, practice balls, we do have that practice facility on the upper part of the golf course, which makes things easy from a practice standpoint.

So we will be going that direction.  As far as NBC, I haven't been given really the rest of the details on what their plans are for the coverage of the championship.  So hopefully they'll stay with us, but not exactly sure at this point.

Q.  Have you ever had a U.S. Open that finishes on No. 9? 

BEN KIMBALL:  Where the champions won on hole No. 9?  Is that what you mean?  Not that I'm aware of.

RHONDA GLENN:  No.

Q.  I'm asking you in regard to the fact of whether it could happen.  

BEN KIMBALL:  Well, it looks like the players going off of hole No. 10, those are the ones that are at plus 5 to plus 7, they would have to play quite a good round of golf to win the championship on that side.

Q.  (Off microphone.) 

BEN KIMBALL:  Yes, sir.  Yes, sir.  It could happen, but I don't think it's happened in our history.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

RHONDA GLENN:  Closest we ever came was Dottie Pepper in 1990 at Atlanta Athletic Club, and she was playing the back nine and she has something like five or six birdies on the back nine.  She finished in the top 10, but she was not a contender.  I mean she had five or six birds on the front nine and she finished on No. 9.

Q.  How much leeway do you have?  Could you get away with an hour rain delay tomorrow?  Does everything have to go without delay? 

BEN KIMBALL:  Yeah.  Looking at the numbers, you know, we would hope that the leaders were go off for Round 4 around 2:00, which would put, you know, if they have been playing at kind of a five‑hours‑and‑seven‑minute pace, that would put us 7:07 p.m. tomorrow when the last putt would drop if they play according to the pace schedule we have for them.

So could we take another weather delay?  We probably could.  But it would have to be something very, very short to where we'd be able to keep the players out there, let the cell or storm roll through, and then go right back out.

If it's something we have to bring them into the clubhouse and we're in for more than an hour, hour and a half, we could be looking at next day.

Q.  So NBC is off air at 4:00; does Golf Channel plan to pick up the remainder? 

BEN KIMBALL:  We're still unfamiliar with how that all is going to work out.  We're all just trying to get used to and plan for tomorrow morning.

But we're not aware at this point kind of how the TV networks are gonna handle it.

RHONDA GLENN:  We'll keep you updated as often as we can on that as soon as we have an answer.

Q.  They will be on tomorrow morning?  ESPN? 

BEN KIMBALL:  ESPN2 will be on tomorrow morning covering starting at 7:00 I have just been made aware.

Q.  I believe it's 9:00 they come on.  

BEN KIMBALL:  ESPN2 in the morning, 9:00.

RHONDA GLENN:  Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

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