(WICHITA, Kan.) — If you were in the Wichita area just before lunch Thursday, you may have thought it was night. An ominous-looking storm rolled through; a strong storm followed it.
And while it wasn't severe or damaging, it made things especially difficult for one group of people.
From the first gust of wind to the last lighting bolt, the storm only lasted bout 90 minutes in the Wichita area, but it dropped more than an inch of rain on the Crestview Country Club golf course. That delayed the Wichita Open by four hours.
So of all the people affected by the morning's storm, golfers trying to earn money and a spot on the PGA tour are probably some of the most affected.
But rain delays are nothing new for players on this tour. "We've seen this all year, we've seen this kind of weather all year, so we're kind of used to it by now," said Dustin Garza, one of the players. "All we can do is just sit around, talk to the other guys, and wait till we go back out there."
Garza probably knows that better than most; he used to play golf for Wichita State University. "Wichita's weird," he said. "You could be sunny and 90 degrees -- then all the sudden -- you get a bad thunderstorm in, and you're rain delayed."
Garza said the men just stay indoors, mingle, and watch some T-V while waiting for the storm to pass. Though the mental preparedness can suffer in the four hour-waiting game.
Rod Nuckells, a Wichita native and former PGA player explained the mental part. "Nobody is a real fan of a rain delay. But you deal with it, make sure it doesn't affect you negatively, then you get back to the golf course in a reasonable amount of time, just so you can start your routine, so you're ready for a round of golf."
This is the third year in a row for a rain delay on the opening day for the Wichita open. It surprised organizers a bit. After all, they moved it to June to avoid troublesome weather.
"When you plan for 12 months -- it's like planning for Christmas Day," said the Wichita Open Tournament Director, ''and all the sudden, there is no Christmas day." He ended that statement with a wry laugh.