It may go down as the loudest suspension of play in USGA history.
No, an official’s air-horn didn’t malfunction with a lot of noise when lightning halted the first round of match play at 11:02 a.m. Wednesday morning.
For awhile, competitors holed up in the Warren Grille, took a break from clock watching and turned their gaze toward the television and the United States’ World Cup soccer match against Algeria.
First, a ricochet toward the mouth of the goal sent oooooh and aaaaahhh through the masses in the dining room. A momentary hush was quelled when Landon Donovan’s return shot found the net. This room shook and it wasn’t a result of thunderstorms. High-fives were exchanged and there were a few mixed-in murmurs of U-S-A, U-S-A! And you thought golf was a quiet sport.
WAPL competitor and Rollins University senior Joanna Coe, a former golf and soccer standout as a prep at Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J., was helping to lead the cheers.
“That,” she smiled as Team USA advanced out of Group C, “was awesome.”
Coe estimates the same game plan for success in the World Cup will be needed to navigate through the rigors of match play at this week’s national championship.
In order for the U.S. to keep winning in coming weeks, which Coe predicts “will be tough,” she says the World Cuppers will need to “limit stupid mistakes and keep creating good opportunities.”
“It will take a lot of heart, but you never know,” she says.
Brittany Altomare, a University of Virginia sophomore, provided some postgame commentary.
“Great game, she said, “but [the U.S.] should’ve scored five times before that.”
It’s going to be a long day as a result of the weather delay, but a win by the home team has a way of brightening the outlook.
“What are you going to do? Better to call in the players and be safe,” said Rules official Terry Wise. “That was fun to watch.” – Andrew Blair