Major Weather Delays
As play is suspended at Merion we look back at other majors impacted by severe weather
June 12, 2013
2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club
After pre-tournament rain already softened Merion, a storm rolled through Thursday morning with only a portion of the field still on the course. Play was halted at 8:36 a.m., and with more storms expected later in the day, completing 72 holes by Sunday evening began to look like a challenge.
1989 PGA Championship Kemper Lakes
In the second round of that year's PGA -- won by Payne Stewart -- storms were so severe that players had to dash off the course to avoid being struck by lightning. "It seemed like a bolt of lightning went between everybodies' legs, and they still hadn't called (play)," Curtis Strange said at the time.
1991 U.S. Open at Hazeltine and 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick
In two instances in 1991, the mere disruption of play seemed awfully trivial. At the Open near Minneapolis, 27-year-old William Fadell of Spring Lake, Minn., was one of six spectators hit by lighting near the 11th fairway in the opening round. Fadell suffered cardiac arrest, and was pronounced dead later that day. Eight weeks later at the PGA, Thomas Weaver, 39, of nearby Fishers, Ind., was struck and killed in a parking lot after play had been suspended in the first round. "It doesn`t seem right that someone can come and watch us play golf and then someone has to tell his family that he dies," said PGA Tour pro Ken Green.
En route to his first major title in nearly three years, Tiger Woods had to play 28 holes on Sunday because of weather delays on Saturday. Thanks to a remarkable run of seven-consecutive birdies in the third round, Woods was able to take over the lead that morning, then managed to hold off Chris DiMarco in the playoff.
2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol
After days of severe heat in the New Jersey area, a massive storm halted play midway through the final round on Sunday. Players were forced to return Monday for the final holes, where Phil Mickelson would hold on for his first PGA title. Strangely enough, though he was the leader in the clubhouse and just two strokes behind Mickelson, Tiger Woods opted to fly home Sunday night rather than wait around for a possible playoff.
2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black
If the USGA decides to never return to Bethpage, it might be because both U.S. Opens held there have been marred by bad weather. But unlike the 2002 Open, which at least finished on Sunday, the '09 edition featured so many rain delays that play was pushed to Monday, where Lucas Glover captured his first major title.
2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor
A Ryder Cup in Wales in October was considered a risky proposition, and with good reason. Storms impacted play each of the first three days -- remember the U.S. team rainsuit fiasco? -- and with Celtic Manor tucked in a valley, the golf course was a quagmire. After some 11th hour attempts to adjust the format in hopes of finishing on Sunday, more rain forced a Monday finish, where the European team held off a late American run and regained the Ryder Cup.
2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah
While players such as Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy may have lamented their momentum being stalled by Saturday's severe weather, one person who might not have minded is Tiger Woods. Woods bogeyed three of his first seven holes when play was mercifully called at 4:50 p.m. because of severe storms, setting up a marathon finish on Sunday.