No damage from storm, crew has Southern Hills shining

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By Ken MacLeod

Fortunately the storm that forced postponement of the first round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship did little to no damage to the course, Southern Hills superintendent Russ Myers said today.

Other than 4/10s of an inch of rain falling to further soften fairways, there was no wind damage. Greens, rolling about 11.5 on the stimpmeter, will actually be firmer and faster today than they were for most of Thursday.

“I know people won’t believe me, but they will actually play firmer today,” Myers said. “People will ask how they are firmer with the rain, but with the wind out of the north and the dew point dropping, they are playing better than yesterday. They feel a lot slicker. They are going to find themselves pitching and chipping a little more today.”

Russ Myers

Myers, his crew and volunteers from around the state and country have been arriving at the course at 3:30 to 4 a.m. to prepare it each day. It was too wet to mow fairways this morning so some of the volunteers got to sleep in. The pictures here were taken earlier in the week and show what it is like to prepare a course for a major championship.

“I tend to get home around 9:30 and say hi and tell everyone I love them on my way to the bedroom,” Myers said. “We’ve got to get after it pretty early.”

The competitors have been raving about both the course conditions and the challenge Southern Hills presents since the restoration by Gil Hanse completed in 2019. That is music to the ears of Myers.

“I’m glad we’re not just talking about sod,” said Myers, who had to put down close to five acres of sod in April to replace Bermuda grass damaged by winter kill, then wait anxiously through a cool spring for some heat to help the sod knit in.

All looks wonderful now and the forecast for the remainder of the tournament calls for no further rain.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source