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Andrea Creates Major Slog

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK | Andrea had the biggest impact on the Wegman’s LPGA Championship even though there was no player in the field by that name. The leading edge of Tropical Storm Andrea, which caused flooding and forced evacuations on Long Island and wreaked havoc on Merion Golf Club before the U.S. Open, also dumped more than five inches of water on Locust Hill Country Club, canceling Thursday’s first round for the first time in tournament history. A steady drizzle continued on Friday and Saturday interrupted by the occasional five-minute deluge. The first unimpeded rays of sun did not materialize until 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Players like Stacy Lewis played cards and saw a movie on Thursday while Brittany Lincicome took a nap. Then they played through rain on Friday and Saturday and finished with 36 holes on Sunday. “The wet [weather] definitely made the rough sticky,” said former world No. 1 Jiyai Shin. “If it [went] into the rough, hitting to the green was really tough.” Even lift-clean-and-place rules weren’t enough at times. “There were a couple of greens with casual water, which isn’t great,” said second-round leader Morgan Pressel on Saturday night. “Several times you were in casual water but there was nowhere to move where it was dry, so you just went where the water was the least.” None of the holes were completely under water, which was the situation two weeks ago at the Pure Silk LPGA Classic in the Bahamas. During that event, a foot of rain in five hours forced tournament officials to create a makeshift 12-hole layout using the holes above water. “The weather hasn’t been great, but we’re used to it,” Lincicome said. “You just put on the rain gear, keep playing and hope it gets better.” Merion also survived Andrea, although motorists on Ardmore Avenue outside the club entrance had to be evacuated on Friday when their vehicles flooded. As for the golf course, the 11th hole of the East Course, where Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Nicolas Colsaerts will tee off in the first group at 7 a.m. on Thursday, was under water for a while, but according to Joe Goode of the USGA, “The work that Merion Golf Club had done on the banks of the nearby creek to minimize potential flooding worked well, and underscores how this area of the course could survive the worst of the storms.”


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