REEDSBURG — The great irony to the wicked weather that greeted Madison McCambridge and the rest of the field Saturday at the WIAC women's golf championship is they haven't seen anything like it since last spring.
While the forecast suggests the worst of the weather is behind them, the UW-Stout senior hopes the best golf is yet to come. There will be a lot of it.
McCambridge put herself and her team in position to enjoy a marathon final round Sunday by making the most of the marginal conditions at Reedsburg Country Club. She was 3-over-par 10 holes into her second round and was, unofficially, tied for the lead at 8-over with former Blue Devils teammate Markie Ash after thunder followed steady rain and thunder moved into the area, forcing a suspension of play.
Unofficially, the Blue Devils' four scoring golfers were 14-over for the day and 48-over for the week and had moved two shots ahead of Whitewater, which was 20-over for the day and 50-over for the week when the horns sounded. UW-Oshkosh appeared to still be in third place at 64-over for the week.
The second round will be completed starting at 9 a.m. Sunday. Golfers will then play their regularly scheduled final round to finish the 54-hole event.
"It started as kind of an on-and-off rain," McCambridge said. "There were quite a few holes that we played without rain at the beginning, which was nice and you had to take advantage of those. Probably our seventh hole, it (was) just a downpour. ... You just have to be mentally tough and fight through it."
That was easier for some than others.
Ash, who transferred to UW-Platteville this fall after changing majors from Manufacturing Engineering to Civil Engineering (which Stout did not have), had no trouble. She started on No. 9, made nine straight pars, birdied No. 18 and bogeyed No. 1 before the stoppage in play.
"I think the biggest thing for me was to just to try and keep everything as dry as possible and to then just keep a positive mindset and playing shot for shot," Ash said. "I was putting really well (Friday) and was looking to add to that (Saturday) and be more consistent off the tee and hit more greens and I was able to do more of that which I feel good about."
Whitewater senior CheyAnn Knudsen, the 2018 WIAC player of the year who was tied with McCambridge when the day began, found it tough to execute key shots from slippery lies. She was 8-over through 10 holes and fell five shots off the pace, at 13-over, when it was finished.
"It started raining really, really hard and it got into my head a little bit," Knudsen said. "Just because I wasn't making putts. I felt like ever single shot I had in the rough, my club was getting stuck. I was getting upset at the fact I was doing everything I could and conditions were just playing against me."
Her coach put everything in perspective, however, as golfers, coaches and spectators alike left Reedsburg CC to dry off and look forward to a Sunday forecast that calls for 64 degrees and a sunny sky. And a whole lot of golf.
"There is a lot of golf left," Wieland said. "It was hard in these conditions, but everyone had to play in them. The golf ball doesn't know it's raining — Dennis Tiziani (her coach at the University of Wisconsin) told me that."
The water-logged golfers might beg to differ.
"I'm kind of glad that we're out of the rain," Knudsen said, "so I can have a clear head for (Sunday)."