With the Shoal Creek course in Alabama drenched by Subtropical Storm Alberto, 13-year-old alternate Alexa Pano has given up hope of playing in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open.
The course was closed on Wednesday, with lightning in the area, and access had been limited all week prior. Nearly four inches of rain has deluged the course over the past several days, with Tuesday’s practice round closed to fans and all non-essential personnel.
The extremely wet conditions have made it tough for players to get out for practice rounds and downright impossible for South Florida phenom Pano, who — as the second alternate — had to give way to established players.
Her father, Rick Pano, said they had decided to leave on Wednesday rather than wait for a chance to play a course his daughter hasn’t even been able to practice on.
“We’d figured to come here and, at worst, experience what few 13-year-olds have, to prepare and practice in the top women’s championship in the world, hoping for a withdrawal,” Rick Pano said, via The Global Golf Post. “But we have made the decision to leave here (Wednesday) as there is one alternate ahead of Alexa. And even if she got a call, she’d go out on this course blind. That one is impossible.”
Two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion and No. 1-ranked Inbee Park called it the wettest conditions she has ever seen at the event. Many players got a practice round in on Monday and the practice facilities were opened Tuesday afternoon.
—Field Level Media