US Women's Open 2018: Subtropical storm Alberto hampers golf major

    Story highlights

    • US Women's Open hampered by subtropical storm Alberto
    • Shoal Creek course in Birmingham, Alabama extremely wet
    • South Koreans filled eight of top-10 places last year

    (CNN)It's known as Shoal Creek and competitors at the 73rd US Women's Open could almost be playing alongside fish after subtropical storm Alberto deluged the course in Birmingham, Alabama this week.

    Practice rounds were canceled Tuesday and delayed Wednesday but the women's second major of the year will begin as scheduled Thursday.
      Alberto made landfall in the Florida Panhandle Monday, showering the Southeast with heavy rain and strong winds and killing at least two people.
      Journalists Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer of South Carolina-based CNN affiliate WYFF were killed when a tree fell on their SUV as they covered the hazardous weather.
      John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, said organizers are "mindful" and "respectful" of the flooding and "other challenging situations" caused by Alberto, but added that the vagaries of nature are part of golf's "charm."
      "You know, not every US Open has been played on pristine, perfect fairways or perfectly dry conditions or in bright sunshine," he told reporters.
      "We play an outdoor game. Unless we're ready to put a dome over our golf courses, we always will.
      "That's part of the charm and the greatness of our game is that there is randomness to our game and I think that's what makes it the greatest game... At times [it's] a little bit more challenging than otherwise because of what Mother Nature brings.
      "We'll use every tool in our tool kit to address it."
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      Bodenhamer also said the USGA had no plans to implement a policy of allowing players to lift and clean mud off their ball before replacing it.
      World No. 3 Lexi Thompson said it might be "a little unfair if they don't" but added "it is what it is" as players chase a first prize of $900,000.
      "They've done the best they can with the golf course by tarping the fairways and, you know, taking care of the run-off as much as possible," she told reporters.
      "There's tarps all around the greens so we don't beat them up too much because when it is wet out we're taking big divots. Even around the greens, it's hard not to."
      The 23-year-old Thompson is still chasing her second major title after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now the ANA Inspiration) in 2014. The nine-time LPGA Tour winner's best US Open finish is still tied seventh in 2014.
      Last year's event was dominated by South Korean players with eight in the top 10 behind winner Park Sung Hyun at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
      The highest finish by an American was tied 11th by Alex Marina.
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      'Wettest conditions I've seen'

      World No.1 Inbee Park, also of South Korea, missed the cut last year and won the last of her seven majors in 2015, but she went close in April, only to lose out in a three-way playoff to Swede Pernilla Lindberg at the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills, California.
      "The US Women's Open is always the tournament that I wanted to win. Obviously, being champion of the US Women's Open is the greatest honor," the 2008 and 2013 champion told reporters.
      Park described the scene at Shoal Creek as "probably the wettest conditions I have ever seen in US Women's Open" and said being a big hitter would help to some extent.
      "Length is very important in the wet conditions, but it doesn't mean everything," she added.
      "I think even though you're going with the shorter clubs, if you putt bad you are not going to score."