Of all the unexpected things that happened on Friday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, the one truly predictable thing that occurred on the second day of the AT&T National golf tournament was the one thing that usually proves to be the most erratic: the weather.
As Rickie Fowler, Angel Cabrera and Jim Furyk made the turn around 2:30 p.m., thunder rumbled and the rain began shortly after. The horns blew, fans scattered and umbrellas went up. What would the AT&T National be without a little rain?
Last year, the tournament was miraculously kept on schedule after a derecho swept through the region between the second and third rounds, leaving over 40 fallen trees all over the course, some directly in the middle of fairways. Yet the players trudged through on Saturday, the course completely vacant of fans, as officials deemed the conditions too dangerous for spectators.
This year’s edition of a storm wasn’t quite the same severity — wind gusts were much less than 80 miles per hour — that trashed the grounds last year, but it was enough to delay play for a little more than three hours on Friday. At times the sky looked innocent enough for the players to go warm-up range, but the storms came back and the players had to shuffle back inside.
On the course, plenty of unexpected events occurred. Jordan Spieth, a teenager, shares the lead (7-under par) over a field comprised of more than a half-dozen major tournament champions. Patrick Reed, with his wife as his caddie, needed just 29 shots over his final nine holes of the day,
“The greens were considerably quicker in the morning,” co-leader Roberto Castro said after his morning round, well before the storms set in. “I’m not sure if, when the humidity picks up throughout the day, if they don’t slow down.”
Well, the humidity picked up, and the greens have most certainly been slowed down.