Floods, tornado push U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifier at Druid Hills into a third day

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Amelia Lewis rented a car for the drive up from Jacksonville, Florida, to Atlanta for her U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifier. Little did she know that she’d spend more time in that Mustang watching Netflix and taking naps than she would be hitting golf shots.

For a second consecutive day play was suspended for most of the day at Druid Hills Golf Club, where four inches of rain and a nearby tornado wreaked havoc on the course on Monday.

Tuesday wasn’t much better, with play resuming at 1 p.m. and stopping at 1:48 p.m.

Not what we were hoping for. We narrowly dodged the tornado but received 3.1” so far and play has been suspended for the day! pic.twitter.com/LPf9u8y8R4

— Joe Hollis (@Turf_Joe32) May 3, 2021

Lewis got 3 ½ holes in each day and holds a share of the lead at 2 under alongside amateurs Alice Hodge and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard. Three players are slated to advance from the 36-hole qualifier to the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic June 3-6 in San Francisco.

“The course was so destroyed from all the wind and rain,” said Lewis. “There were a few trees down and they had to repair the bunkers and everything.”

When the tornado warning hit, Lewis said players headed down to the cart barn underneath the clubhouse. Druid Hills superintendent Joe Hollis tweeted that the course received four inches of rain on Monday, exactly one inch more than the entire month of April. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Hollis said another 1.1 inches of rain had fallen and it had yet to stop well into the evening.

I can update first thing in the morning with official total, hate it for the players, course was ready to shine before this, whoever qualifies will have one heck of a story to tell.

— Joe Hollis (@Turf_Joe32) May 5, 2021

Alabama’s Kenzie Wright only has three scores on her card so far and sits at 1 over. She has spent most of her time in Atlanta either eating or trying to find a new hotel. Wright graduated on Saturday with a Master’s degree in sport hospitality and drove to Atlanta on Sunday for a practice round. She’s due back in Tuscaloosa on Thursday morning for a COVID-19 test for upcoming NCAA regional action.

Yes by all means. First pic is how we got it back in shape for today, second pic is flooding yesterday and third is how that area should look. pic.twitter.com/KUDO67T8i2

— Joe Hollis (@Turf_Joe32) May 5, 2021

Play is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

“I’m just hoping that all of this wasn’t for nothing,” said Wright.

A total of 24 players have already withdrawn from the event.