Some washed-out spectators complained that breakfast sandwiches were already sold out by 9 a.m.
“This is the worst,” Tim McDermott, of Philadelphia, said as he ate a Thai chicken wrap. “Who runs out of bacon, egg and cheese at breakfast? It’d be fine if I could drink a beer, but you can’t do that before 10:30.”
Ralph Pelusi, of Hatboro, arrived at the 14th green around 8:15 a.m, just before the horn sounded.
“It’s tough, but we’ll wait it out,” Pelusi said. “It’s a bummer.”
Bill Strehse, who lives about four blocks away, was part of the scramble for shelter.
“Everybody ducked under what they could find. Every tent was filled. And this place was a wall,” he said, pointing to the large covering at the entrance. “I had my poncho and just waited under the tree and watched the lightning. Once the rain started, everyone found a spot to hang out.”
Some, like 16-year-old Geoff Warke of Hershey, simply popped open an umbrella and walked the front nine. He even got a quick hello from Phil Mickelson near the fourth fairway.
By mid-afternoon, the black-and-white umbrellas imprinted with “Merion 2013” were used to shield folks from the sun.
Brian Furio, of York, bought one during the downpour and used it more as a walking stick in the afternoon.
“If I stay long enough, I’ll be ready,” he said.
At a fan zone, where a replay of the limited morning action was up on the big screen, a worker took the microphone to implore an overflow crowd to move to the merchandise tent.
“We’re not feeling safe having this many people in here,” he told them.
So off they went. To shop. To eat. To wait.