In a perfect world, Scott Bowman would still be MIA from Glen Abbey, where he led the efforts to mop up at the RBC Canadian Open, but he says he took the day off after Monday’s playoff between Nathan Green and Retief Goosen, even if he was at work.
“I was back up at 8 (a.m.). The body just kind of knows when to get up,” admitted Bowman. “I was here, cleaning up around the shop, just plugging away.”
He also took a quick look around and reports that, while there is some damage outside the ropes from all the trappings of hosting a PGA Tour event, there is little sign on fairways and greens of the deluges that kept interrupting the national championship, forcing an extra day of play.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t get better weather obviously, disappointed for the staff, especially the people who were here last year who experienced two (rainy Opens) in a row,” said Bowman.
While the last two Opens at the Abbey were plagued by rain, they were two different experiences, according to Bowman, who points out the 2008 Open saw most of the rain fall earlier in tournament week, while this year’s version was constantly hit after play began.
“The golf course on Monday was pretty much perfect for the Mike Weir (Charity Classic). The greens were firm, they were fast,” he said.
“The fairways were actually starting to really dry out. They were going that nice purply brown colour. We were just keeping them alive with two to three minutes here and there with the sprinklers.
“To see it all kind of go up in smoke on Thursday was very unfortunate for the players as well. I heard some comments on Tuesday that the greens were actually too firm,” added Bowman.
That all changed when the skies opened up and allowed the tour players, when they were playing, to throw darts at the soft greens without too much punishment for their boldness, but the continuous nature of the rain didn’t come as a complete surprise.
“It was just disappointing to see what we had worked for all go down the tubes again. Listening to the meteorologist from the tour talk on Thursday, we pretty much knew we were screwed,” said Bowman.
“Sometimes, you look at the weather forecast and you think, `Oh well, it might go around us.’ With all of (the meteorologist’s) weather patterns and him being on site, he was pretty much guaranteeing what came,” said Bowman, who takes exception to any criticism of Glen Abbey’s drainage.
“The rain all came during play with not a lot of heat and not a lot of wind, but it just wasn’t going anywhere. It had no reason to go anywhere,” he said.
“That’s what kind of angered me the most was that the golf course was getting an unfair criticism. They were comparing everything to last year and the scenario was completely different than last year’s rain. It came at different times on different days.
“There’s more to it than people think, but that was one of my biggest disappointments was that the golf course was getting an unfair shake,” said Bowman, adding that other golf courses in the area were experiencing the same effects and one even closed.
The reason he knows that is that several superintendents and grounds people in the area actually volunteered their help and their equipment and all were not employed by ClubLink Corporation, which owns the Abbey.
“The superintendents all know each other from the Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association and the Canadian Golf Superintendents’ Association and Western Ontario,” said Bowman.
“We have buddies we went to school with and guys we get to know through the industry, I would do the same for someone like Keith Bartlett (superintendent at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, the site of the 2010 Open) next year.”
To go along with his staff of 40, Bowman now had 20 more people, including family and friends, and a lot more equipment to deal with the continuous rain.
“It has nothing to do with me. I’m the guy driving around,” said Bowman, adding that he needed to inform the tour how long it would take to clean up after each downpour and then deliver. Then, chances were good it would happen all over again.
“I’m just the finger-pointer. It’s nothing to do with me. It’s all my staff. They take 100 per cent of the credit for this,” said Bowman.
You get the feeling that Bowman is being too humble, even with the credit he gives to staff and others who pitched in. At the very least, the guy deserves a little extra nap time.