Weather Delays U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur September 16, 2011 By Christina Lance, USGA

Virginia Beach, Va. – Torrential rain and strong winds suspended the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, being conducted at 6,187-yard, par-72 Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach, Va.

Round one will resume at 8 a.m. on Sunday, with play proceeding in 10-minute intervals. The second round of stroke-play qualifying is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

Bayville G.C. received approximately 1 inch of rain on Saturday, which fell on ground that was already saturated from the more than 8 inches that had fallen in the past two weeks.

Following an initial suspension due to unplayable conditions at 12:45 p.m., the announcement that play had been suspended for the day came at 4:15 p.m. from Championship Director Donna Mummert.

Puddling and casual-water accumulations in the fairways, as well as the forecast for constant afternoon rain, were the key factors that led to Mummert’s decision.

We had instances where players were having to take relief from casual water a significant distance from where their balls had come to rest, said Mummert, in some cases actually going from the fairway to the rough. That’s when we know that we’re not playing the game properly.

The ground was just so saturated that if we were able to get out there and put the squeegees to the fairways, we weren’t buying enough of a break for when the rain would come back.

While all 66 players with morning tee times started their rounds, only nine players were able to finish before play was suspended. Marilyn Hardy, 50, of Houston, Texas, is the clubhouse leader with a score of 10-over 82.

Seven players from the afternoon wave had begun their rounds before the suspension of play, including 2010 runner-up and Virginia Beach resident Carol Robertson, 28. Defending champion Meghan Stasi, 33, of Oakland Park, Fla., was among the 59 players who did not tee off.

The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to clance@usga.org.