Hot, Humid Conditions This Weekend at 2014 US Open

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
June 14, 2014; 3:58 AM
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Hot and humid weather will continue for the final two rounds of the 114th U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Conditions on Saturday will feature partly sunny skies and temperatures climbing well into the 80s.

Showers and thunderstorms managed to avoid the course during the day for the first two rounds of the tournament, but a little did fall on the course on Thursday night.

"A thunderstorm could pop up nearby during the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, but they will likely stay south and east of Pinehurst," said AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Matt Rinde.

There will be some sunshine on Sunday with temperatures rising to near 90 degrees during the afternoon.

Martin Kaymer, of Germany, watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

In 2013, rain interrupted play at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

George Forster Jr., assistant golf professional at Merion, said preparations for last year's tournament were made years in advance so that they could properly test the drainage systems on the course to make sure that if it rained, the water would soak right through.

After the rain, the greens at Merion became a bit more receptive and the conditions weren't as firm as the United States Golf Association (USGA) tries to institute.

Forster said the Pinehurst No. 2 course has very minimal rough and while it is dependent on the weather, after the ball hits the playing surface, he expects it "to run a ton."

"We can pretty much guarantee that it's going to play firm and fast down there," Forster said.

Greg Nye, the head men's golf coach at Penn State University, said he doesn't anticipate drainage problems at Pinehurst.

The course is located in the North Carolina Sandhills region, and while all U.S. Open courses are set up to have proper drainage, Nye said the Pinehurst course has a sandy soil which handles water very easily.

In the event of a weather delay, it could be a good or bad thing for a player depending on how their particular round is going.

A player on a bogey streak would likely welcome the opportunity to come off the course to reevaluate their round, unlike a player who's in a good rhythm of play.

"It's a part of their world, they grow used to it, [but] you never like it," Nye said.

For the golfers, getting their bodies physically and mentally ready to resume play can be a difficult thing, especially when it comes to replicating their playing rhythm, Nye said.

"They try to build that back up through a warmup, but that's a very hard thing to do, because it's not only a physical thing, but it's getting your mind back in that competitive place that it was at," Nye said.

Nye had access to the player's area at Merion and he said players tried to keep themselves in a playing zone by stretching in the clubhouse and by talking to their fellow competitors because they were all in the same boat.

Nye said he doesn't expect much of a change in the way the greens will play if they are dry versus recently saturated.

"I don't think you're gonna see a big difference," Nye said. "I think that they're firm greens and they drain well; the water rolls off the edges of those greens."

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Nye said even though it can be easier when greens soften up, he doesn't expect that to happen at Pinehurst because they have a sand base and are perched upwards.

"You might have a half hour to an hour of softer conditions where it's easier, but they'll firm right back up," he said.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mike Doll contributed to the content of this story.

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