Golf

Golfers not sweating projected 100-degree temps for U.S. Senior Open

Caddie Gene Quevedo covers himself with a towel to keep cool during practice rounds for the U.S. Senior Open on Wednesday at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento.
Caddie Gene Quevedo covers himself with a towel to keep cool during practice rounds for the U.S. Senior Open on Wednesday at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Thursday’s projected high temperature of 104 degrees does not come close to scaring Roger Chapman, a hardy Brit who once survived the closest thing to hell on a golf course.

“The European Tour, they still go down to Perth, Australia, and there was one where I played and it was 51 degrees – Celsius,” Chapman said.

Run that figure on a Fahrenheit conversion chart and you’ll see they might as well have played the tournament in Death Valley; it comes out to 123.8 degrees.

“That was warm,” Chapman said. “The next day was like 30 (or, 86 degrees Fahrenheit) but with a lot of humidity, and that was worse.”

The tournament, of course, was the Heineken Classic, and you can bet a lot of it went down the hatch the day it hit 51.

“You took your head cover off and you could burn yourself on the wood,” Chapman said.

One-time Masters champ Mark O’Meara✔ said the worst heat he ever played in was the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur with Tiger Woods.

“That was the hottest place I’ve ever been,” O’Meara said, recalling a windless Malaysian 100-degree day with 92 percent humidity. “You had to have a bottle of water after every hole.”

None of the senior pros interviewed feared the Sacramento heat. But they all respected it.

“Just drink a lot of water and find shade whenever you can,” Corey Pavin said.

Scott Simpson has no problem with 100-degree days.

“I like the warm weather,” he said. “You’re loose, and you’re not messing with the umbrella or rain suits.”

The United States Golf Association announced Wednesday that each spectator can bring two (up from one) 24-ounce, sealed water bottles for the remainder of the championship. Concession stands around the golf course will also be selling bottled water for $2.50 each.

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