The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

June 14, 2014

NOTEBOOK | Players take positive approach to rain delay

JOHNSTOWN — Opinions at the rain-soaked Sunnehanna Country Club on Friday seemed unanimous.

The best way to cope with the recent string of rain showers is to maintain a positive outlook and worry about matters the players can control.

For the second straight day, rain delayed the start of the 61st Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions on Friday.

The situation only got worse as the warning siren sounded at 3:11 p.m. just in front of a heavy thunderstorm that doused an already wet course.

Plans to resume play were thwarted when the rain persisted later in the afternoon.

Only 11 groups finished play on Friday. The rest of the 80-plus player field will conclude Round 3 beginning at 8 a.m. today – weather permitting.

Players at plus-9 or better will make the cut and play the final round, which will begin shortly after the conclusion of the suspended round.

“You just have to have a positive outlook that everybody has got to play in it,” said University of South Carolina golfer Will Murphy, who completed six holes on Friday and sits in a four-way tie for second place at 4-under-par. “It’s not unfair to a single player. Everybody’s got to deal with it. You have to stay positive on the course and off the course. You have to keep a good mind-set.”

Nicholas Reach, a University of Georgia golfer from Lackawanna County, completed five holes Friday and is alone in first place at 8-under for the tournament. Reach shared the lead after the second round with 2011 Sunnehanna champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois golfer Charlie Danielson of Osceola, Wisconsin.  

Click here to see more photos from this event                                                                                         

Danielson now is in second place, tied at 4-under with Murphy, Doug Ghim and Sam Burns.

Smith fell to a tie for third place at 3-under with Lee McCoy, Rico Hoey and Trevor Cone.

“It’s not terrible. We’re used to it,” said Virginia Tech All-Atlantic Coast Conference golfer Cone of Concord, North Carolina. “I had a rain delay last week in the round I played in the North Carolina Amateur. You just have to keep a positive mind-set.”

That philosophy probably should apply to the Sunnehanna grounds crew, which has done a great job of contending with the unfavorable weather throughout the week.

“The bottom line is the weather has not been particularly good this year be it winter, spring or now summer,” Sunnehanna Amateur co-chairman John Yerger said. “You just have to see what’s going on and make adjustments. You have to respond with what the weather gives you.

“That’s what we’ve tried to do in terms of the set-up of the golf course, specifically with regards to pin placements to keep them in places in the green where they’d be less susceptible to water, but there are limits to what you can do with that as well.”

Today’s forecast is an improvement over recent days.

A lot of golf remains to be played.

“Obviously it can be either overwhelming or just a lot of distraction going on,” Murphy said of the interruptions and delays. “I tried to block it out and know that I’m probably going to have to play in rain. Mentally preparing yourself before you play is a big deal.

“The course obviously will be wet,” Murphy added. “I expect a soft course where you can attack. A lot of birdies.”

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