U.S. Girls' Junior: Rain washes out second round

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (July 24, 2008)-- Heavy rain has caused the postponement of the second round of match play at the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, being played at the 6,265-yard, par-71 Hartford Golf Club.

With an already saturated golf course and more heavy rains and thunderstorms expected throughout the day, USGA officials decided to cancel play for the day.

Donna Mummert, assistant director of Amateur Status and Rules of Golf for the United States Golf Association and the USGA’s staff director of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, advised the players, officials and volunteers of the decision to cancel play at 10:15 a.m. EDT.

“Unfortunately, as you’ve been watching out the window here, we’ve had a lot of rain both overnight and this morning,” Mummert announced to a packed dining room at Hartford Golf Club. “We just went out and took a drive around the golf course and as expected, the golf course has now become unplayable. We do have a forecast of another one to two inches of rain this afternoon, so we are not going to be playing golf at all today.”

That announcement elicited a mix of gasps and cheers from the players.

Alexis Thompson, 13, of Coral Springs, Fla., who was scheduled to play Christine Cho of La Crescenta, Calif., in a second-round match Thursday, was disappointed but understanding given the circumstances.

“I wanted to play a match but you can’t change the weather,” said Thompson, a two-time U.S. Women’s Open qualifier who is playing in her second Girls’ Junior. “It is what it is. I don’t want to get struck by lightning. Tomorrow, hopefully the weather is good.”

The last time an entire day of play was lost at a USGA championship was at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open, when heavy fog caused the postponement of the entire first round at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. In 2002, the U.S. Junior Amateur at Atlanta (Ga.) Athletic Club required an extra day due to weather delays.

As a result of two consecutive days of inclement weather, the U.S. Girls’ Junior will be extended to an extra day for the first time in the championship’s 60-year history.

“We did get the first round of match play completed, but that leaves us with five rounds of matches remaining, including a 36-hole final,” said Mummert.

The second round will start at 7 a.m. Friday and the third round will be played Friday afternoon. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Saturday and the 36-hole final will be played Sunday.

Officials did allow one match on the golf course Thursday. The first-round match between Rachel Rohanna of Waynesburg, Pa., and Julie Yang of Phoenix, Ariz., had been suspended due to darkness Wednesday with the two players all square through 17 holes. The players resumed their match early Thursday morning and remained all square after trading pars on No. 18. Rohanna and Yang were then taken off the golf course as heavy rains began to soak the course.

After conferring with both competitors, USGA officials allowed Rohanna and Yang to resume their match. On the fourth extra hole, the par-3 17th, Rohanna’s bogey allowed the 13-year-old Yang to earn the 22-hole victory.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

--Story written by Beth Murrison, USGA

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ABOUT THE U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur

The Girls Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. The event is open to female golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 18.4. 36 hole stroke play qualifying from which 64 players advance to match play. Regional qualifying held at sites around the United States.

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