One look at the 11th green today at Merion Golf Club was enough for superintendent Arron McCurdy.
As the U.S. Open nears at Merion, remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea seem to have settled in over the East Course in Ardmore, Pa. McCurdy (pictured) tells GCM that 3 inches of rain pounded the historic layout today. As of 8:30 p.m. EST tonight, the rain continued. Earlier in the day, as he paid a visit to the flood-prone 11th green, McCurdy gave it little more than a glimpse. The sight of it was painful.
"I didn't even stay to watch it," McCurdy says. "It was 6 inches from flooding over the top of the green. We've ordered six emergency loads of bunker sand and will get after it in the morning."
McCurdy says the forecast calls for a few showers throughout the weekend, some wind, and Monday is supposed to be humid, which McCurdy laments because that could mean they may not lose as much moisture as they want. The bottom line is that Merion's chances of playing fast and firm don't seem to be in Mother Nature's plans at the moment.
Although he isn't worried that the contingency plan will be needed to use the fourth and fifth holes on the West Course during the championship if the 11th and 12th holes are damaged by floods, McCurdy says the recent turn of events has tested him.
"You get kind of disappointed after all of the hard work you put into this," McCurdy, a 4-year member of GCSAA, says. "We'll just get out there again at 5 in the morning, clean it up, go to work. It'll be fine."