Pro Golf: Soggy British Open running late
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- The sun finally peeked out at the Open Championship on Friday after a three-hour, 14-minute delay caused by heavy rain that turned areas of the Old Course into small ponds.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - The sun finally peeked out at the Open Championship on Friday after a three-hour, 14-minute delay caused by heavy rain that turned areas of the Old Course into small ponds.
The rains drenched the course at St. Andrews, Scotland, in the early hours Friday morning, filling up most of the 112 bunkers with water quickly.
Play was halted 14 minutes after the first group teed off at 6:32 a.m. local time. Play resumed at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. CT), which set the tee times back and guaranteed many of the afternoon players would not finish their rounds until Saturday morning.
Royal & Ancient Golf Club president Peter Dawson was asked whether altering tee times to a multiple-tee start (No. 1 and No. 10) on Saturday was an option.
“The prospect of changing it during competition and doing a two-tee start is not something we are going to do,” Dawson said.
The two-tee start occurred last year at the Royal Liverpool course due to inclement weather, but Dawson told the BBC that the design integrity of the St. Andrews course was a factor in the decision not to do it again.
“The order you play the holes on a links course is very important,” he said.
After completion of the second round Saturday, play for the third round will begin but might not finish until Sunday, Dawson said.
“Our target is to finish on Sunday,” Dawson said. “We do have the ability to go into Monday, but we certainly hope not to.”
Thursday’s first-round leader Dustin Johnson began Friday’s play at 5:48 p.m. local time (12:48 p.m. ET) alongside Jordan Spieth, who is bidding to claim a third consecutive major victory. Johnson and Spieth finished 13 holes before play was suspended because of darkness with Johnson still atop the leaderboard at 10 under.
“We needed to play (late),” Johnson said. “The more we get done, the easier it is for the return. I feel great. ... I’ll go and get a good night’s rest and get back out here tomorrow.”
Spieth walked off the course at 5-under and will complete the second round early Saturday morning along with 41 others.
Tiger Woods, who shot his worst round (76) on the Old Course as a professional in the first round, was at 5 over through 11 holes and in danger of missing the cut. He also will finish the round on Saturday morning.
The Open tweeted out a photo during the delay, showing a duck standing in a pool of water on the soggy course:
“Lovely morning on the Old Course ... if you’re a duck.”