VIENNA - What used to be a rarity has almost become the norm for the Callaway Junior Tour.
For the third time this season, an event has been canceled because of rain. The latest to feel the wrath of Mother Nature was Monday's stop at Parkersburg Country Club.
Golfers played through a two-hour delay in the morning but a second downpour forced Callaway Junior Tour officials to halt the tournament for good.
Golfers David Scragg, left, and Freddie Fitzsimmons protect themselves from the drizzle which fell during Monday’s round at Parkersburg Country Club for the Callaway Junior Tour. Golfers played through a two-hour rain delay in the morning before the tournament was cancelled because of heavy showers in the afternoon. (Photo by Kerry Patrick)
Before this year's unusual amount of wet weather, only four times in a span of more than 26 years was an event canceled on the Callaway Junior Tour.
Most golfers had two to three holes remaining on Monday. None of their scores will factor into the individual point standings.
"We tried to figure out how many holes we had left and then figure the maximum amount of time,"West Virginia Golf Association director of golf Brad Ullman said. "We try to figure how much time the golf course is going to need to drain and at least be playable. When you take that time and put it together, and considering how much rain was yet to come it wasn't possible."
"Canceling an event is the last thing we want to do, but it's all about the safety of the players and courtesy of the golf course for letting us be here."
Coleman Lamp of St. Marys didn't want to see his round end after holding at even-par overall with two holes remaining when the sirens called in both golfers and spectators for the final time.
"When you are playing good, it's frustrating to have these delays," Lamp said.
Lamp was playing the course for only the second time in his career, but managed to record back-to-back birdies when play was resumed following the first delay. He sank a 10-foot uphill putt on No. 14 then stood at 1-under when he converted a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 15.
Lamp's playing partners of Cole Moore, Sam Petty and Owen Elliott turned in a combined score of 5-under on the par 3s. On the 141-yard, 17th hole all four golfers stuck their tee shots to within 8 feet. Three of the four golfers birdied the hole.
"A lot of the par 5s are challenging and there's a lot of water on the back nine," Lamp said. "I actually played better on the back nine and played it at 2-under."
Tournament officials took heed of the inclement weather which appeared on the radar screen for the second delay, and were able to clear the course in time before the downpour.
The first delay, however, had little warning. Especially for Spencer's Caleb and Cam Moore, and their father Rick Moore. They were huddled along with several other golf carts in a tunnel below the railroad tracks near the 13th hole.
"When they blew the horn and everybody started heading places, they had the one shelter on the side of the 14th hole," Rick Moore said. "We started through that tunnel, but (Parkersburg Country Club PGA professional Scott Davidson) said this is a pretty safe place, so we just stayed there.
"It was a little spooky for a while. Once the lightning started, we didn't want to go any farther. It hit within 40 yards of us - we saw it hit the tree and smelled the smoke off the tree. It was pretty close."
Before everyone departed Parkersburg Country Club, the champions and second-place finishers from Sunday's Par 3 Shootout at Minibel Golf Club in Vienna were recognized. Waterford's father-son combo of Howard and Brandyn Offenberger placed runner-up in one division.
Each Offenberger birdied a hole as part of their final score of 2-under for nine holes. Brandyn Offenberger just missed a hole-in-one on No. 8.
"I actually two-hopped and hit the pin on No. 8," Brandyn Offenberger said. "I left it like 3 inches on the other side of the cup."