COMMENTARY | Tiger Woods would love to have a case of the Mondays.
The world No. 1's start to his 2013 U.S. Open has been delayed on Thursday because of storms in the Philadelphia area that halted play at Merion Golf Club at 8:36 a.m. ET, with it now set to resume at 12:10 p.m. ET after a delay of 3 hours, 34 minutes. Woods was supposed to tee off at 1:14 p.m. ET with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott. His tee time is now 4:48 p.m. ET.
Depending on if this is the last of the delays on Thursday, and with another storm coming around 1 p.m. ET it is likely not, Woods -- and the field -- are looking at a long week to determine the national championship.
That could well play into the hands of the 14-time major champion.
Weather delays have been ubiquitous on the PGA Tour in 2013. From wind warnings in Hawaii, to snow in Arizona, to hail in Houston, it's frankly surprising it hasn't rained toads this year. The delays this meteorological minefield has created on seemingly a weekly basis has forced two tournaments to Monday finishes this year: the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March.
You have one guess at who won both of those. It was Tiger.
Call it a coincidence if you want, but weather delays that extend the tournament week play into the hands of the most mentally-tough players. Atop that list is Woods, who consistently finds a way to adapt to different playing conditions, flaws in his game that develop over the course of a championship and the ebb and flow of contenders that challenge him.
Woods acknowledged the likelihood of some kind of delay this week on Tuesday, responding like it was no big deal.
"We play so many events and have to deal with weather, it's just part of our sport," he said. "And we deal with delays, we deal with coming in, going back out, playing 36, finishing up rounds. It's just the way it is."
With that attitude, the longer the delay goes on Thursday at Merion, arguably the more it plays into Woods' hands. While other players often see delays as a time to socialize and joke around, Woods will not take his mind off of the task at hand: winning a 15th major championship.
Remember, too, that Woods won his last major championship on a Monday. Five years ago come Sunday, Woods was taken to the limit by Rocco Mediate in a playoff -- again, at Torrey Pines -- for the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods, competing on essentially one leg because of multiple injuries, finally prevailed on the 19th hole of the playoff in sudden-death.
Seemingly, nothing will happen suddenly this week, but the drawn-out pace at which this U.S. Open is likely to unfold should be an advantage for the game's most patient player.
Ryan Ballengee is a Washington, D.C.-based golf writer. His work has appeared on multiple digital outlets, including NBC Sports and Golf Channel. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBallengee.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiger Woods
- Merion Golf Club