NICHOLASVILLE — For the second straight day, the second round at the State Amateur Championship was suspended because of rain, forcing the tournament to conclude Friday in an abbreviated 36-hole format.
Golfers at the course Thursday morning didn't see any rain but Bill Coomer, director of tournament operations, said Wednesday's storms and Thursday's forecast gave tournament officials no choice.
Traditionally, the State Am field would play two rounds and a cut would be made for the third and final round. After the second round was washed out on Wednesday and Thursday, tournament officials cut down to the top 70 including ties based on first-round scores.
Coomer originally hoped to fit in the second round between Thursday and Friday, pushing back Friday's final round a few hours to allow the tournament to play out in its intended three rounds.
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"When the course condition didn't improve any overnight, it became evident that trying to get another 18 holes in on Friday after the cut was going to be almost impossible," Coomer said. "We made the cut at 77. If we were to double that score, that's kind of the cut line we would normally have, so that worked out OK."
Several players were forced to withdraw, either Wednesday or Thursday, because of scheduling conflicts. Most of the players in the field, Coomer said, planned on playing through Thursday, and several players were not available to play Friday. Only one player that made the cut withdrew for Friday's final round: Tom Musselman of Lexington, who shot a 76 on Tuesday.
Co-leaders Jordan Blann of Bowling Green and Jim Volpenhein of Union shot 67 on Tuesday's opening round, three strokes up on a group of six players at 70. Blann and Volpenhein will lead Friday's final group, set to tee off at 10:48 a.m., along with Kent Bulle of Glasgow.
The State Am has dealt with rain delays before, but Coomer said neither he nor any of the tournament's committee members could recall a year when rain forced the tournament to finish in 36 holes.
Friday's forecast calls for a small chance of rain, but Coomer said he doesn't anticipate it to cause a problem as long as lightning doesn't become an issue. Dealing with weather is just part of the deal, Coomer said.
"If the course is playable, we can play in the rain," Coomer said. "That's tournament golf. Until we play in a dome, we have to deal with what we have."