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We'll finish on Sunday: USGA

THE USGA is confident the 116th US Open will finish on time despite extensive weather delays on day one.

USGA officials are confident the 116th US Open trophy will be awarded Sunday night.

After several hours of the first round were lost to bad weather Jeff Hall, USGA Managing Director of Rules and Competition, addressed the media and laid out a plan to get the tournament back on track by Sunday morning.

With only nine golfers completing their first 18 holes Thursday and half the field not hitting a shot, Hall says all efforts will be made to finish the tournament Sunday evening.

“The schedule tomorrow is a 7.30am resumption of round one for the players that started the morning wave and we will start the afternoon wave at 8am,” he said.

“We'll turn that all around and try to get round two started at 1.45 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon for the first wave and start the second wave of round two approximately 7.15 in the evening.

“We've got sunset till 8.52pm and twilight till about 9.10 so we certainly won't finish round two tomorrow night but we'll come back with a goal of starting again 7.30 Saturday morning.

“We'll complete round two at approximately 1.15 or so [on Saturday], make the cut, turn it around and begin round three at approximately 1.45 in groups of three off both tees.”

He said the forecast for the weekend was ideal and if it turns out to be correct he is confident the tournament will finish on schedule.

“We'll make every effort to finish round three by sunset Saturday so we can play in twos on Sunday,” he said.

“If we are unable to complete round three on Saturday we still have great daylight available to us but we want to play in twos on Sunday for the final round of the United States Open.”

He said complaints from several players about not being able to warm up on the range after the first of three delays on day one had been noted but that it was an unavoidable situation.

He said the USGA believes if they are to have a delay between 45 minutes and an hour they don't bring players back to the clubhouse and all indications were the first suspension would fit in that window.

Eventually the delay lasted just over an hour but Hall made no apologies, suggesting the USGA only missed its time by 19 minutes.

Aside from the delays the Oakmont course has suffered some damage from the heavy rains with Hall saying play couldn't restart before 7.30 am because there are too many players on the course.

“The superintendent needs time to prepare the course and we have players on 16 of the 18 holes,” he said.

“Tomorrow is the equivalent of a shotgun start.”

For all the lost time, though, Hall said a Sunday finish was still on the cards.

“I don't think the forecast will lend itself to a need to finish Monday,” he said.

“Every indication is we should be in a position to hand out a trophy Sunday night.”

BEHIND THE SCENES AT OAKMONT:

[VIDEO:4903185492001]

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