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June 29, 2007

Mike Davis


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Davis is the Senior Director of Rules and Competitions for the United States Golf Association, and he will give us an update on the play of this championship and the weather conditions. Mike?
MIKE DAVIS: Rhonda, thanks. I was asking a few people to look back on USGA record books to see if we'd ever had a championship that we suspended on every single day, because we did the three practice days. We don't think we have. So if we do tomorrow, which it looks like there's a good chance we will, I don't know whether to root for it or not on Sunday for a record, but we may get to it.
I think you all know that the weather that came through, the reason we decided to pull the plug for the day was simply because there was another line of very strong storms coming through the area that we thought would likely hit around 6:30.
So with that in fairness to the players who had been waiting around a long time today, made the decision to call it.
With respect to tomorrow, we'll go through really the same scenario we did for today where we'll resume play at 7:30. We've got what would have been the afternoon wave for round 2, they'll go off at 7:30, because the morning wave is already on their respective 11th hole.
So things will go off 7:30. We should probably finish around 2, by roughly 3:00 or so, maybe 2:45. We'll quickly do the cut and then for round three we will most definitely be playing in groups of three off 1 and 10 tees. Then we'll just play to dark.
This is all presupposing that we've got good weather for tomorrow, which is absolutely not forecasted. We're supposed to get some pretty heavy rains through the night, pretty strong storms. From what we're seeing right now or hearing from our meteorologist it probably will stay through mid morning. There's a good chance this 7:30 start won't happen.
We'll play as much golf as we can and what we do for round 4 is really just dependent on how much of round 3 we get done tomorrow. We won't get round 3 done tomorrow even with good weather, that will be going into Sunday. Hopefully if it gets done early enough we will re-pair and go off in groups of two. It depends on how big the cut is and other circumstances.

Q. Are there contingency plans in place for Monday, have you guys started that process?
MIKE DAVIS: Well, we always do for our national championships. Maybe unlike a TOUR event that might think twice about going into Monday, Tuesday or something, our plan is to most definitely play 72 holes of stroke play to determine a winner.
I think it was the -- I think it was the 1987 Women's Open we went the whole way to Tuesday. And then our luck we get a playoff that went to Wednesday. So thankfully we got the playoff thing solved.
RHONDA GLENN: I think Tuesday was the playoff. The playoff was Tuesday, Laura Davies, Joanne Carner. It seemed to last for months.
MIKE DAVIS: We will most definitely go to Monday if we need to.

Q. I'm not sure this is exactly for you, but can you shed any light on why, in both '96 and 2001 we played a month earlier here than we are this year. My memory in '96 was that the weather was a factor in moving it up earlier. Do you have any idea why we're here at this time of the year?
MIKE DAVIS: You're absolutely right. We did play roughly a month earlier. It was the very end of May, and as I recall we did go late May. When that decision was made, it probably would have been back in 1991, '92, when we decided we would set those days.
We did that partially because at that point we wanted to -- we felt like the condition of the course would probably be best, I don't recall it really being necessarily a weather decision, although I think it's fair to say that weather generally would be better that time of the year than this, but the reason we went later this year really was the golf course. We knew it was going to be restored and most people would agree that it plays better as a Bermudagrass golf course.
As we see every time we take the U.S. Open, which is played the second week of June, to a Bermudagrass golf course, whether it's at Pinehurst No. 2 or Southern Hills, it really isn't until that very first week of June that we get any kind of rough. It's just not warm enough for the Bermuda to have popped yet. You need to go later than the end of May.
To be candid with you I recall there was some type of thing with NBC that there was a conflict, but that was really more of after the fact, because it was really about trying to play it on a golf course that was Bermuda.
I think coming into it realistically we realized that the chances of bad weather were probably a little greater. But having said that, this area has gone for weeks on end without any kind of weather. And bring the USGA to town and it's amazing how we can change weather patterns (laughter).

Q. Statistically, does the ten shot rule give you a bigger field on the weekend? If that's the case, down the road, is that something that might be revisited by the USGA in terms of handling circumstances like this?
MIKE DAVIS: That's a good question, and I will tell you that does get revisited, oh, I bet you every five or six years that comes up. Because it was 1996 our U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, where we had 102, 108 players, 105 players made the cut. I think we -- the first tee time was around 6:15. It does get brought up, but for all those reasons to eliminate it, there are those scenarios where somebody within ten shots of the leader, but not the low 60 and ties misses it. We have examples where somebody did get in with a ten shot rule and then had a great final 36 holes, played well enough -- in fact I think if you look back in the record books I believe it was Ernie Els that did that at Baltusrol in 1993 and he played himself into 1994 and he won it that year, and that seems to be one of the few! examples where we say if we hadn't had the ten shot rule we may not have had Ernie Els as our champ in '94.

Q. That would give Monty a Major, though.
MIKE DAVIS: We had Loren Roberts in that playoff, too.
RHONDA GLENN: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you, Mike.

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