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August 14, 2016

Matt Sawicki

John Bodenhamer

Columbus, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to welcome Matt Sawicki, the Director of USGA Championships, and John Bodenhamer, the Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions, and Equipment Standards up here onto the podium.

John and Matt are going to make a statement and field some questions about why play was cancelled for the day and when we hope to resume tomorrow. Also, we'll have some information on tickets, parking, and other information. Matt, do you want to go first.

MATT SAWICKI: Thanks, Mike. Thanks to all of you for sticking around.

Play is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. off of the 1st and 10th tees. We plan to keep all of our pairings that were scheduled to play together today intact.

We look forward to welcoming spectators who supported us all week from Central Ohio. All tickets throughout the week will be honored tomorrow for admission. That is, all tickets will be honored for grounds admission tomorrow for the final round of the U.S. Senior Open.

As far as our parking is concerned, we plan to consolidate into one parking area. That's West Campus Park, located at 1039 Carmack road. For our volunteers, first and foremost, we thank all of them for all of their help and support throughout the week. We ask that each volunteer look forward to receiving an e-mail from their individual captain as far as planning purposes are concerned for tomorrow.

Our broadcast window for tomorrow will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We'll be on Fox Sports 1 for tomorrow's telecast.

Finally, there are a number of groups that I want to thank before concluding. The club; specifically, general manager Greg Wolf, our superintendent Bob Becker, and HNS Sports. Those groups have shown tremendous flexibility and diligence with the challenges of the last 24 hours.

I'm going to turn it over to John Bodenhamer, who can address the golf course.

JOHN BODENHAMER: Thank you, Matt. Good afternoon, everyone.

Just a couple of other points that I would add to what Matt said. Today we received 1.54 inches of rainfall on top of what was 0.82 yesterday, for a total of 2.36 inches in the last 25 hours.

As we evaluated the golf course after what came through today, our evaluation and communication to the players was basically based on the weather forecast. As we got back out on the golf course, more specifically, to evaluate it a little bit closer, it was clear to us that we were not going to be able to properly play today so we made the determination to cancel play.

I will say this, that this golf club, and especially Bob Becker and his maintenance crew, have been fantastic, and the effort was heroic to clear water in places that there was really a lot of it. In the end, we decided that we could not achieve what we had hoped. So we're not going to play today.

I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Q. John, what were the conditions specifically that made you think you could play at 3:30 and then say, well, we can't get this done?
JOHN BODENHAMER: As I said, Steve, really our initial effort to get some golf in today was based on the weather forecast. We're going to have some drying. We're going to have some drying overnight, which will be helpful.

But as we got out on the golf course after that initial evaluation, it was determined, once we got into the fairways, especially -- you know, there's a lot of standing water out there, but it was even some of the stuff you can't see from a distance. Once you get on top of it, there was enough where there just weren't areas to play properly.

But the putting greens, the teeing grounds, and the bunkers were all in good shape. It was more the fairways.

Q. And has there ever been a USGA Championship played lift, clean, and place, or was that even a consideration?
JOHN BODENHAMER: There has not been a championship that the USGA has conducted that's been played under lift, clean, and place.

We have 116-year tradition of playing the ball down, and it is our intention to continue that tradition. It's something that we just want to maintain. If we've been able to do it all this long, we want to continue it.

Q. Has a USGA event ever been shortened to 54 holes, and what are the circumstances under which that would take place?
JOHN BODENHAMER: We have not shortened any of our Opens over our history. Our intention is to play 72 holes, and we will endeavor to do that.

Q. Please forgive me, but that would mean possibly Tuesday, although I think the weather's a lot better tomorrow, right? I mean, if we had to.
JOHN BODENHAMER: Yes. And things change, as you know, things pop up, but we think we've got a shot. We're going to have a drying period overnight, and we think we've got a shot to get it in tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned that everything came out well. Given this much rain, though, how are the greens? Are they going to be particularly soft? Are they softer than normal, than what even they are used to here? What exactly would you describe them as?
JOHN BODENHAMER: Well, there's certainly -- with this amount of rainfall, they're softer than they were, as you would imagine. That goes without saying. But I'll say this, and as I said earlier, this golf club and this maintenance crew is fantastic, and the greens are really, really good.

The greens are not our concern.

Q. Finally, you guys have had a setup in place starting, you know, I would think, earlier in the week or last night or whenever it is that you established the setup. Have you now adjusted that setup given the amount of rain and so forth, maybe move some tees up, back, whatever?
JOHN BODENHAMER: Well, I would say this. We're not locked into any setup we come in with. We come in with a strategy, but because of weather, we'll adjust. As we often say, our setup is in real time. Regardless of what sort of weather condition presents itself to us, we'll make the proper adjustments to present a proper golf course to the players in identifying a champion.

We will make those adjustments, absolutely.

Q. John, you have a broadcast partner, and they have another event starting on Wednesday. What kind of conversations are you having with them, and what kind of contingencies are you making?
JOHN BODENHAMER: We're having very positive conversations. Our ultimate priority is to present the championship and to conduct the competition properly, as has been our long tradition, and our broadcast partners at Fox fully understand that and are fully supportive of it.

Q. I actually have one more, and this is something that nobody can do anything about, but maybe you could speak to it anyway. It's been 30 years since this golf course and this club has had a championship.
They are not going to get to have one round with a one-tee start, and we all know why. It's nobody's fault. But I wonder if you could just speak to maybe the disappointment in not being able to do that.

JOHN BODENHAMER: Well, I would say -- and, Matt, you can jump in here. I would say that yesterday we thought was a success. What came in afterwards, and we would preferably love to have been, again, within our tradition of starting from the the first tee down in twos on the weekend. That's our strategy coming in. But the weather, I think we've been proactive in adjusting to it with our setup, and we viewed yesterday as a great success in looking ahead and being proactive and getting that round in before the weather came in.

We hope that tomorrow can be similar to that, that we can get enough play in and get done and maybe get a little lucky and get it in before we get hit hard, if we get hit hard. We don't know that either.

Matt, did you want to add to that?

Q. No criticism is deserved. It's just unfortunate.
JOHN BODENHAMER: It is. I think our preference, as I said, would be to start from 1 in twos, but I think it's important to complete the championship.

MATT SAWICKI: I would just add that Scioto has been a tremendous partner with us throughout this entire process. It's been a five-year journey with the club. I think they've been ecstatic about the golf course that's been presented this week and the competition overall.

They recognize the challenges, but at the same time, they've got a great championship lineage here, and I don't think what we've experienced has dampened that enthusiasm at all.

Q. I'll ask you guys to be weathermen. You have inside information usually, more than the norm. What does tomorrow look like at this moment in terms of hours and timing?
JOHN BODENHAMER: Well, I guess our latest forecast is for some drying tonight. We think we're going to have some considerable drying overnight. There is something -- the models are showing that in the morning, I think it's from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. sort of a window, we could get clipped by something that could give us some -- you know, anywhere -- I'm not going to project the rainfall, but worst case scenario, it would be something like a half inch.

But we think it's also very possible that it will miss us, which after that drying overnight will only improve the golf course. If it misses us, it may heat up the atmosphere a little bit for the afternoon, but that's why I said, if we can get things in like we did yesterday in the morning and get it done before all that kind of heats up, that could be one scenario.

If we do get clipped in the morning, it will cool things down for the afternoon, and we won't be as inclined to get something in the afternoon, which could be helpful too. So we've got some opportunity there. That can change too.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thanks for coming in. As they mentioned, play is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. We'll see you then.

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