Second round under way at St Andrews after rain interrupts second round
Published 17/07/2015 | 08:53
The second day of the 144th Open Championship will resume at 10am after heavy rain forced play to be suspended just after its scheduled start time.
Persistent showers throughout the early hours got increasingly worse just as Jaco van Zyl, Mark Calcavecchia and Marcel Siem teed off at 6.32am and they had only reached the first green when they were called off at 6.46.
Greens, fairways and bunkers were flooded and an army of greenkeepers set to work on clearing the standing water, but could not prevent a delay of more than three hours.
"It has been a very tough morning. It started raining just before 5am and we've had 20mm since then, 12mm of those in a very short time period and the course started to puddle and flood in certain areas," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson told the BBC.
"The worst rain has passed. We will have a showery spell which we are assured will be over by 10.
"This a very sandy golf course and once it starts to drain you will find it dries very quickly.
"If there is any course which can take this it is the Old Course at St Andrews."
Weather forecasters had predicted outbreaks of heavy rain in the morning with winds gusting up to 30mph, with speeds increasing to 35-40mph in the afternoon but drier conditions.
Jordan Spieth, at five-under par two off compatriot Dustin Johnson's lead chasing the third leg of an unprecedented calendar year grand slam, said he was expecting tough conditions.
"It's definitely going to be a brutal day. We just don't know when the rain is going to start, when it's going to stop, if it's going to come back," said the American, who had been scheduled to tee off at 2.34pm but that is now likely to be closer to 6pm.
"I think it will be a true Scottish day that we all should enjoy the challenge ahead."