USGA should take note of doubleheader danger

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- This week's slopfest points out a potential flaw in the USGA's plan to hold the men's and women's U.S. Opens on back-to-back weeks at Pinehurst in 2014. Play was suspended Thursday, and the forecast calls for three more days of rain. (It was so bad Thursday, I saw players lining up two-by-two.) Call it overreacting, but with this grim forecast, it's not far-fetched to imagine the U.S. Open spilling into a Monday finish and, if we have another 18-hole playoff, maybe even Tuesday. That's a pain this year, but in 2014 it could be a disaster.A Monday or Tuesday U.S. Open finish at Pinehurst in five years would wreak havoc because the LPGA players would be in town and ready to practice. If the men were still occupying Pinehurst No. 2, the women would have to wait to get on the tournament course. Sure, they could always go over to Pine Needles or Mid-Pines to practice, but it's not the same as practicing on the course you're going to compete on. A lot of noses would be out of joint if the men's Open interfered with the women's.  Of course, a badly delayed Open is a long shot. The only time I recall an Open going into Monday due to bad weather was the '83 Open at Oakmont, where Larry Nelson won. So it's not likely. But you have to consider the possibility.

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by Kevin Cunningham