BANGOR, Maine — For the second year in a row, a round of the Greater Bangor Open Golf Tournament has been washed out by heavy rain.
Friday’s second round of the three-day event, sponsored by Hollywood Slots of Bangor, at Bangor Municipal Golf Course was called off shortly after 7:30 a.m. by head pro Brian Enman.
It was decided to shorten the GBO to 36 holes with all of the players advancing to today’s 18-hole final. They have been re-paired by their first-round scores for the dash for the $50,000 purse. The winner will receive a check for $11,000.
There is an ironic twist to the drainage situation at the golf course.
“One of the things in the budget this year was for a trencher that hooks on the back of a tractor,” said Enman. “We’ve always had to rent them before and they’re not always readily available.”
The ironic part is that the city picked the winning bidder Friday for the trencher, which will be used to dig drainage trenches for the golf course.
Enman said it wouldn’t have helped this year, though.
“With this much water, [drainage] doesn’t matter because there’s nowhere for it to go,” he said.
Last year, a few groups started the opening round before play was called off. Even that wasn’t possible Friday.
“We didn’t send anybody out,” Enman said of the players who were scheduled to tee off starting at 7.
“Around 7:30, quarter of 8 we said no,” said Enman. “There was no sense sending them out and then have to call everybody back.”
The rain began after midnight Friday and continued throughout the day, varying only in intensity, wreaking havoc on an already-wet course.
“The handwriting was on the wall before we even started, truthfully,” Enman said.
Weather maps showed there would be no relief.
“There was a solid block of [rain] over New England,” said Enman.
If it had to occur, Enman was thankful that it happened during one of the first two rounds.
“I’d rather see that than the final round,” he said, noting that by being able to re-pair the players for a head-to-head run at the $50,000 purse would make for a better finish. “Then they’re going for something. If there’s any silver lining at all, that would be it.”
The players took it in stride, according to Enman.
“Anybody that’s played on the New England tour this summer, I hesitate to call it that — this half of the year, is kind of relieved we weren’t going to send anyone out.”
It has been a frequent problem this year, said Enman.
“One of the guys said they’ve had only one or two tournaments that were not affected by rain during the course of the tournament,” said Enman.
Most of the players, according to Enman, would probably go to the movies, do laundry, pay bills or take the opportunity to do some other activity that needed attention.
“Get an oil change,” chimed in assistant pro Rob Jarvis, who is the president of the GBO tournament committee.
Eric Egloff of Sandy Spring, Md., winner of the 1995 GBO, stopped in at the pro shop and said he did “absolutely nothing. I slept in.”
“I got a text message from Joe Cioe [the 1998 GBO champ] that the tourney [round] was canceled and that we were playing together at 10:40 [Saturday],” said Egloff. “I said great and went back to sleep.”
The tournament could not be extended to Sunday, partly due to the travel plans of many of the players and partly due to local players’ reserved tee times.
“No, no consideration,” said Enman.
This is only the third time the GBO has had to be cut short, and it has never had fewer than two rounds. If there is another rainout, the payouts will be based on Thursday’s scores.
But Enman said he is confident that today’s round will be played, even though there may still be some early-morning showers.
“We can [tee off] until 3 p.m. and still be done by 7:30. We have some leeway there,” he said. “It may still be wet out there, but if the greens are playable, then we’ll go.”