For only the second time in the 42-year history of the Hollywood Slots Greater Bangor Open golf tournament, it has been shortened to 36 holes.
Heavy rain and thunder canceled Thursday’ s opening round of the $50,000 GBO at Bangor Municipal Golf Course.
Competitors will start today based on their second-round tee times, said head pro Brian Enman. Players will be re-paired for Saturday’ s 18-hole finale based on today’ s scores. There will be no cut.
“A couple of tees were practically under water,” said Enman. “We got a lot of rain this morning and there was nowhere for it to go.”
Many of the greens were also soaked.
“Any low areas on the greens had a lot of water,” said Enman. “All the cups were full of water.
“The course was saturated going in, and [Thursday’ s rain] was too much.”
The first three groups were able to get out starting at 7 a.m., but they were the only ones.
“The first group got to the third hole,” said Enman. “Then we heard thunder. Where there’ s thunder, there’ s lightning, so we decided to err on the side of caution.
“When we got everyone in, then it really opened up.”
Enman checked on the course a couple of times to see if play could be restarted. After the second check, at about 9:15 a.m., he canceled the round.
“We took a run down some of the fairways and water was cascading away from the carts,” said Enman.
The pro shop, like much of eastern Maine, was without power. That meant no access to weather information through the Internet. Enman called Bangor Public Works, which has an emergency generator, to see if they could check.
“The radar said we were going to get more,” Enman said.
There was more rain in the forecast for Thursday night. Enman said they will have to play it by ear today.
“We can wait until 10 or 10:30 [a.m.] and still get everyone out,” said Enman. “We’ ll wait as long as we can.
“The course has to be playable and today it was just not playable.”
There was golf played Thursday at Bangor Muni, but it was on the Kelly Nine.
The Kelly Nine greens held up well to the rain.
“If we had those greens out here [on the 18], we’ d have played,” said Enman.
“Those [on the Kelly Nine] have 12 inches of sand on top, 4 inches of stone under that and a little bit of peat moss mixed in [with the sand] to hold a little moisture,” said Enman.
The 18-hole greens are “mostly loam, and with the Maine winters, there’ s clay mixed in as well,” said Enman.
“Through top dressing, there’ s about an inch of sand on top,” he added, but he said that’ s not enough for good drainage.
There’ s a reason the tournament can’ t go to Sunday, as has happened occasionally in the past, said Enman.
“We book tee times five days in advance [on weekends],” he said.
Players on Thursday had to look for other ways to occupy their day.
“Some hit balls [on the driving range or the practice greens], but I think most got away from it for a while,” said Enman.
Kerry Johnston of Indio, Calif., played and practiced.
“Donnie [Robertson], Joe Clark, Joe Cioe and myself went up to Penobscot Valley [Country Club in Orono],” said Johnston, last year’ s senior division winner.
“We had a great time, needling each other. The important thing was we were able to play,” he added, pointing out that the traveling pros have few opportunities for fun rounds.
Then he and Robertson were back at the Bangor Muni putting green late in the afternoon.
One day off, though, was enough for Johnston.
“I hope we can get it in,” he said.