Open officials confident about Merion

Open officials confident about Merion

US Open officials said on Monday they have contingency plans if any holes at Merion Golf Club are made unplayable by heavy rains in the Philadelphia area, but were confident the course would drain sufficiently for the championship.

Several fairways were flooded on Monday by torrential downpours that followed a dumping of more than three inches of rain on Friday. More rain is forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and the scheduled opening round on Thursday.

US Golf Association chief Mike Davis told a news conference at the club that the biggest concern was the green and greenside bunker at the 11th hole, which is the lowest point on the course.

More than a dozen groundskeepers worked to repair the flooded bunker at the hole, which catches the overflow from a creek that runs along the right side of the green.

“It's where two creeks come together. But we've had two major rain events and both of which the green has managed to stay above water, which is a good thing,” said Matt Shaffer, the course superintendent.