June 16, 2009

Lipouts

What they were saying Wednesday at Bethpage Black

FARMINGTON, N.Y. -- You wouldn't have known it Wednesday, when bright sunshine blanketed Bethpage Black, but up to two inches of rain and high winds are expected for Thursday's first round. It could be a long, wet day, and tournament officials and players are preparing for the worst.

With that in mind, here's a rundown of what was said in anticipation of Thursday's wet weather:

Lip Outs

"We're very much concerned about the forecast. We're trying to make contingency plans to help us deal with it, because we really want to play all the golf we can tomorrow and Friday." -- Jim Hyler, vice-president of the USGA and chairman of the championship committee.

"You get a lot of towels, like my man has in the bag. It's quite a test, even if it was dry. I think you just have to mentally prepare yourself to not let it beat you before you tee off." -- David Toms

"You gotta take it how it is. Some guys will probably get all frustrated by it. There's nothing we can do about that. It's probably going to make it tough and not as much fun, but it might help us at the same time.

"I'm not sure this course can handle 2 inches of rain, can it? You can't control the weather. I'm sure the USGA will be smart about course set up. It's just unfortunate and the rain will change the course quite a bit. I'm picking up mud on every shot, but when it's wetter, you get less mud." -- Tom Lehman

"I think it's a slightly different mindset that you aren't going to be as comfortable out there. But you know, great players get through it. So you try and make the most of it." -- Ben Crane

"It's already sloppy. A lot of mud balls. You just gotta deal with it the best way you can come tomorrow. Obviously, it's going to play tough -- it's already playing tough. If it rains as hard as they say and blows, it's definitely a lot of mind games out there. Tomorrow morning's going to be the worst of the lot, so my 7:55 time will be very nice. The only good thing is I'm off the first and I've got Tiger right on my rear, so at least he's in the same boat as me." -- Robert Allenby

"Half the field will blow themselves away. You just prepare yourself for the fight. Just realize you're not going to win the golf tournament tomorrow, you just do your best not to lose it. Hang in there, be patient and believe in yourself. But also realize it's an opportunity, too. If you react better to the conditions than anybody else, that might reflect in a shot or two out there. So it's more of a mental test." -- Justin Rose

"There's really nothing much you can do. Basically just accept that it's probably going to be a terrible day tomorrow for golf and be that much better with your patience. It's really just about preparing yourself mentally -- that starting tomorrow when you wake up, it's probably going to be raining and not be surprised. I think when you're surprised, you're kind of not ready for it. I think all of us know what's going to happen, so it's just a matter of going out there with a tremendous amount of patience because we might be going in-and-out. " -- Sean O'Hair

The USGA has never invoked the lift, clean and place rule for a U.S. Open and has no plans to do so this week. Two meteorologists are on site monitoring the situation.

"You hope they do the right thing. We've had mud all over the ball the last couple days we've been out there playing. A lot of things you can't control, but it's tough enough as it is. Maybe there's always a first for everything. " -- Toms

"I will be interesting to see what they do. You don't want it to be where it's a joke." -- Ben Curtis

"The USGA's not going to play lift, clean and place. For me, it's not even a consideration." -- Kevin Sutherland

"There a lot of tough holes out there. A lot of long, long holes. If it blows the way it's supposed to blow and it rains -- and they keep the tees we've been hitting off, the golf course will be brutal. There will be no other word for it." -- * Allenby*