U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Marathon Day At Women’s Open For Golfers July 8, 2011 By USGA News Services

It was that kind of day for Stacy Lewis, who held the 18-hole lead but watched it slip away during the latter portion of her second round. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The longest game by time in the history of major league baseball occurred in 1984, when the Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 in 25 innings. The affair took 8 hours 6 minutes to complete.

For those competing at the U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor on Friday, that might seem like little more than a coffee break.

A weather postponement that left half the field waiting to tee off on Thursday turned into a marathon on Friday. The first shot of the day was struck at 7:40 a.m. MDT, the last shot was taken at 8:26 p.m. Factor in an afternoon weather delay of 66 minutes and there was 11 hours 40 minutes of national-championship golf.

I'm just thinking of it as another U.S. Open qualifier, said Lizette Salas, 21, who is playing in her fourth event as a professional, her second Women's Open. Salas started the day by making a 4-foot putt for par to complete her first hole of the championship.

She went on to finish 18 holes at 1-under-par 69, then fired a 73 to finish her second round before darkness arrived. Sitting at even-par for the championship, Salas is four shots off the pace of I.K. Kim. Although she was drained, Salas said she much preferred Friday to Thursday.

I got to play today which was good, said the 2011 University of Southern California graduate. Yesterday, I only hit a drive, an approach and a putt. I wish it didn't have to be like that, but it's weather. It can be distracting because you don't move for a long time, and kind of lose focus. But everyone has to deal with it.

Today I got a little shaky because I was getting a little tired. I just wanted to par in. After suffering bogey and double bogey on Nos. 12 and 13, Salas was able to make par on her last five holes.

The early suspension on Thursday and extra time on Friday played out in dramatically different ways, depending on one's tee times.

In contrast to Salas, Natalie Gulbis played just one hole to complete her first round on Friday morning, then waited the rest of the day for a scheduled second-round time (7:55 p.m.) that never came. 

You've got to prepare that maybe you'll only play one or two holes, said Karrie Webb, who finished off three holes of her opening-round 70 on Friday morning, but never played a shot in the second round. You know it might be 24 hours before you play again.

Angela Stanford has experienced both ends of the spectrum over the first two days. On Thursday, she never got out of the blocks. On Friday, she played both the first and second rounds in their entirety. She carded scores of 72-70 to finish at even-par 142, also four shots off the lead pace.

Since 2006, we've had to play more than 18, or in the 30s, four times, Stanford said. It's tough at a U.S. Open. When we had to come in for the rain delay, I didn't know whether I should sit down or stand up. I was afraid if I sat down I wasn't going to get back up.

Stanford did get back up. She went back out and birdied two of her last four holes after the delay.

I'm happy where I am right now, she added. At least our two rounds had a flow to them. It would have been hard to hit a few shots tonight, then get back out here at 7 and play the rest of your round... I think right now I got the better end of the deal.

Ai Miyazato, who played 15 holes on Thursday, finished her opening-round 70 on Friday morning. She did not notice a significant difference in the texture of the course after Thursday's rain.

Not really, said Miyazato, who also never started her second round. I thought the greens were really soft (on Thursday), and this morning was pretty much the same. So nothing different.

Truth of the matter is, fractured rounds and long delays are nothing new for those who have played a lot of competitive golf. While players are creatures of habit, and weather delays are not part of the plan, they have to learn to hurry up and wait.

This is my 15th year on tour, and 16th year being a professional, said Cristie Kerr, who played only three holes on Friday, finishing off a first-round 71, before seeing her second tee time erased late in the day. This stuff happens all the time. You have to kind of roll with the punches.

 

 

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