Players brace for long weekend at U.S. Open

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (AP) — Janice Moodie didn't need a caddie Saturday morning to complete her second round at the U.S. Women's Open.

The Scot was less than 3 inches from closing her round a day earlier when lightning threatened and the horn abruptly sounded to stop play.

So after daybreak she returned to the 18th green with only her putter, tapped in a gimme putt to finish her 76 — then turned around and went back home.

"I think I might have squeezed it (Friday) if we had just gone ahead," Moodie said. "It's just one of those things, isn't it? The horn's got to be blowing sometime. It just happens to be when I'm doing my first putt."

Now comes the next challenge: killing roughly 10 hours before round three is expected to begin — if it even starts at all.

It's been that kind of week so far at Pine Needles, where the Open began its third day with most players still stuck in the second round and Mother Nature dominating the field.

Threats of thunder and lightning loomed large during the first two days, leaving some players to spend more time with pool cues and pingpong paddles in the clubhouse rather than putters on the practice green.

With contingency plans being discussed to extend the tournament into Monday, the star-crossed event that can't seem to get itself started has players and officials wondering if an end will ever be in sight.

"It's going to be a marathon weekend," Morgan Pressel said.

Play resumed as scheduled Saturday when this cozy nook in the south-central North Carolina sandhills dodged the latest batch of expected strong storms. But, in keeping with the theme of this year's Open, more severe weather was predicted for the afternoon.

"This area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather," said Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition. "And bring the USGA to town, and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns."

With little golf being played — three delays in two days have cost about six hours of play — there haven't been many reasons to change the leaderboard.

In-Bee Park — one of just 25 of 156 players to finish the second round — shot a 73 Friday after bogeying two of her final four holes, and was at even-par 142, one shot ahead of Kris Tamulis, who shot 71.

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