An estimated 25,000 people per day are flocking to the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club and at ticket prices often well into the hundreds, they weren't throwing in the towel because of a thunderstorm.
As thunder started rolling in a little after 9 a.m. Thursday, the warning sirens signaled golfers and spectators to get off the Open course and seek shelter.
For some nearby residents, that meant a trip home to wait out the storm. For others, like Matt Boist and Mark Alisesky of Horsham it meant a trip back to the car parked somehwere way down Ardmore Avenue between Haverford Road and Lancaster Avenue.
"We were at the 17th hole and all of a sudden Phil Mickelson was about to come and the horn went off, so we've been waiting ever since," Alisesky told Patch as he hiked along Ardmore Avenue on the way back to his car.
Matt Boist said there was plenty of warning and plenty of time to get off the course before the skies opened up. He and Alisesky spoke to Patch a little after 10 a.m. as the rain was steady, but tapering off after some big initial downpours.
Play resumed at 12:10 p.m., but the forecast doesn't bode well for the afternoon.
"It wasn't that bad," Boist told Patch. "Actually the weather was pretty good. I guess there must have been thunder off where we were sitting. All the bleachers around the 17th where we were sitting were packed and everyone just kind of ran for cover once they heard the horns between the merchandise tents and all the vendors' tents. So now it's just a lot of people sitting around waiting, waiting."
A lot of limos and town cars also flooded back into the area of Ardmore Avenue and Haverford Road, picking up foursomes of spectators who dodged the downpours under giant golf umbrellas.
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