Soggy course delays Meijer Classic for 7 hours

Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — At one point Thursday, there was a yellow rubber duck floating on the practice putting green at Blythefield Country Club.

But by 2:15 p.m., there was golf being played in the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.

A duck on the soggy Blythefield Country Club.
A duck on the soggy Blythefield Country Club as rain delayed the Meijer LPGA Classic on June 13, 2019.

While the course isn’t perfect, LPGA spokeswoman Christina Lance said the tour was thrilled things were moving forward.

“It was a long, hard morning and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, this was the first time we’ve had an extended rain delay,” Lance said. “The grounds crew here was fantastic, Collin (Romanick) and his team got us through our rule officials.”

While the course was ruled playable, some of the lower holes were still seeing standing water. A tee box had to moved up to make Hole 14 only 400 yards on a par-5 that is normally 530 yards. Subtracting 130 yards essentially makes it an eagle hole. In 2017, Hole 14 was turned into a par 3 because of rain.

  • A soggy Blythefield County Club on the opening day of the Meijer LPGA Classic.
  • A soggy Blythefield County Club on the opening day of the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Romanick, the Blythefield Country Club golf course superintendent, said the holes by the Rouge River, including 14, are the toughest to maintain. It could be challenge for the coming days of the event.

“They hold water a lot longer than the holes up top here so we will have to deal with that for a little bit,” Romanick said. “The course drains very well so I’m not overly concerned about it.”

Romanick and his staff were out rolling puddles and pumping water off the fairways and greens since the early hours of Thursday. He said they had plenty of helping hands.

Regardless, he was uncertain about getting in any playing Thursday.

“Obviously we’d like the course to play firmer and faster but it’s what we have and we are doing the best we can,” Romanick said. “If you would’ve asked me if we would be out here earlier today, I would’ve questioned it. We really pulled together and got it done, team effort.”

According to Lance, the goal is still to get the 72-hole tournament finished by Sunday. There so far haven’t been any adjustments of start times for the coming days and Lance didn’t want to make any assumptions on that front.

“We have to get the grounds crew out there to asses everything,” Lance said. “It’s not as easy and taking groups to holes one and 10 and just starting, we’ve got to get players into vans, do roll call, there’s just a lot involved and I don’t want to give any times yet.”

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