Beaufort News

US Open golf qualifier delayed; play slated to resume today

Storms on Monday postponed the U.S. Open local qualifier at Colleton River's Dye Course.

About half the field of 90 players was still on the course when play stopped. Play resumes at 9 a.m. today.

Clemson golfer Michael Muscatell was among those with a decision to make. The finance major is 2-under par through nine holes, in good shape for one of the six bids to sectional qualifying, but he has a class scheduled on campus today.

Muscatell said he planned to return to the course this morning. Others said they would not be back.

Rules official Mike Murphy told the players the approaching weather would make finishing Monday impossible.

"This storm is huge," he said. "And it's full of lightning."

Mark Harrell, from Chattanooga, Tenn., posted the low score Monday, signing for a 1-under-par 71. North Carolina native and Berkeley Hall member Nathan Stamey shot even-par 72.

Players waited through an earlier weather delay Monday before returning to the course. The horn sounded again with the final group on the ninth green. Players then weighed whether they would return based on the scores already posted, how far they had to travel and the expense of booking a hotel room.

Hilton Head Island resident Chris Epperson will be among those still on the course when play resumes. Others, like Muscatell, faced logistical problems.

Six players will earn spots at one of the U.S. Open secitional qualifiers, while two alternates will wait and see if a spot opens.

Muscatell played the Dye Course during the 2011 S.C. Amateur and said he likes the layout.

"It's a fun course to play," he said. "It separates the field for sure, just because it's long and there's a lot of trouble. It's always good to be back here."