Today’s golf news: there isn’t any. Play was suspended at Bethpage at 10.16am to give those that laughed at the ark builders a chance to head for higher ground. It’s raining. Proper. Big. Rain. And it doesn’t look like it is going to stop anytime soon.
When (if) the players ever get back onto the course, surely they will be allowed to lift, clean and replace their balls on the fairway. “Er, no,” said the man from the USGA. But what if it just keeps on raining? “If we can’t play it; if it’s not fair to be playing the ball as it lies, we’ll suspend play,” said USGA Man.
But what if it rains so much that the championship runs over to Monday or Tuesday, or July? “We’ll stay here until we get a champion,” he said. Deep joy. Hasn’t he got a home to go to?
We might have to play the US Open and the Open Championship at the same time at Bethpage. Heck, all the players and the media are already here and hunkered down for the rainy season. Think about how much money would be saved in hotel bills. Speaking of which, the media hotel is in the middle of a parking lot somewhere off a freeway, somewhere in America, and a 30-minute bus ride from the course. It looks like it was modelled on the kind that Kate Adie used to report from during missile attacks in Tel Aviv. And it’s, ahem, $265 a night (plus tax and the shirt off your back). Nearest, and only, entertainment is a Hooters, which, I have been told, is a den of iniquity, where, apparently, large breasted dolly birds wearing skin tight, low cut orange leotards and flesh-coloured tights serve BBQ chicken wings and cold fizzy beer to hot frothy middle-aged men. Disgraceful.
All of which goes to explain why your man from Team Golf Monthly is one of three sharing a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, a two-hour drive from the course. But at least the nightlife is classier. The apartment is on the 36th floor of a 44-storey block that has a view to die for, especially if you trip up on the way out to the balcony – it’s only eight yards long and two yards wide. “You could see the Empire State Building just there if it wasn’t for that office block,” said the man showing us around. “And the Statue of Liberty is just over there behind that skyscraper.” He was clearly a fan of Fawlty Towers.
USGA Man is the only person at Bethpage displaying a sunny disposition and insisting that the weather will improve later today and there will be some golf. “We’re just trying to identify the backside of this,” he said. Whatever that means. Tune in later, possibly much later, for all your essential golf news.
I’m off to watch the racing at Ascot on the BBC’s website. The weather looks lovely in Berkshire.