Harrington has mixed feelings
Padraig Harrington came off the course at Bethpage Black with mixed feelings about the US Open’s rain-ruined first day.
Padraig Harrington is set to resume his rain-delayed first round at the US Open today looking to play catch-up on one half of the 156-man field, and envying the other half that could not get started on Thursday night.
The opening round at Bethpage Black on New York’s Long Island was called to a halt after just three hours and 15 minutes when heavy rains made the 7,426-yard par-70 course unplayable.
The decision disrupted the rounds of the 78 players who formed the morning wave of starters and are set to return at 7.30am local time to complete their first 18 holes.
Harrington will resume play on the seventh hole, alongside fellow current major champions Tiger Woods and Angel Cabrera, having slipped to four over par thanks to a double bogey and two bogeys.
Cabrera is the best placed of the three at level par, a shot behind overnight leaders Jeff Brehaut and Ryan Spears of the USA, Canada’s Andrew Parr and Johan Edfors of Sweden.
Woods is one over, but although Harrington’s initial reaction was to be thankful for the break and the chance to repair some of the first round’s early damage, the Irishman believes that he, Tiger and all the other morning starters are going to be at a disadvantage to the afternoon non-starters.
This because they were left with an extra day out of the soggy conditions and are not scheduled to get their tournaments under way until 10am.
“I don’t think there’s a guy who hasn’t teed off today that is not sitting very happy in their hotel room right now or maybe at the cinema watching a movie something like that,” Harrington said last night as play was suspended for the day.
“But that’s the nature of the game. You’re going to get bad breaks. You’re going to get the wrong side of the draw. Who knows what the next three or four days, or could be four or five days, are going to bring?
“Conditions at the end of the day could end up to favour this side of the draw. We don’t know at this stage. We don’t know.”
With more rain forecast for each day of the tournament, and Saturday set to see similar levels to yesterday’s inch of rainfall, the competitors are in for an extended stay on Long Island and a soggy one at that.
Harrington is certainly planning for the long haul and for a continuation of the difficult conditions, particularly mud balls in the light of the USGA’s refusal to allow players to lift, clean and place their ball on the fairways.
“I think as it stands at this very moment, you know, it needs a break, it needs some wind, and it needs to start drying out,” he said.
“The worst conditions, obviously players are concerned about mud balls and things like that, but that doesn’t happen when the fairways are wet.
“It only happens when they start drying out and the mud sticks to it. It’s going to be a problem more this afternoon and Saturday than in the morning.
“But nature is going to take it’s course. We’ll get this tournament done and I guarantee you they will have a US Open Champion at the end of this week; well, at some stage in the next week,” he joked.
“Somebody is going to be happy and somebody is going to be a winner, and the best player is probably going to win. We’ll wait and see.”
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