'Stupid' R&A attacked for 'unfair' suspension - Golf - Sport - The Independent

'Stupid' R&A attacked for 'unfair' suspension

The carnage on the fairways was followed by the recrimination in the locker room as the Open organisers were accused of giving preferential treatment to the big names and of being "stupid". Martin Kaymer and Thomas Levet spoke up for the disgruntled when asked about the wind suspension.

While Rory McIlroy questioned the Royal and Ancient's decision to call them off, Kaymer's rebuke was of a more cynical tone. "It was unfair," said the world No 13, not previously known for being outspoken. "Zach Johnson and myself had asked the officials to stop play earlier. They should have stopped it an hour earlier. On the 12th and the 13th, the ball was moving around already. Maybe they were protecting the better ones who were playing later."

Play was postponed just as the afternoon's feature group reached the first green. Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Camilo Villegas were standing over their putts when the hooter sounded. By then, Kaymer had suffered enough. "I just wanted to finish and get out of here," he said. "It was probably one of the hardest days I've ever had on a golf course. They're lucky the greens are slow because they would have had no choice but to suspend play two or three hours ago."

Later Levet slammed the R&A for being "stupid" with the pin positions, a resentment shared by another Ryder Cup man in Oliver Wilson. "It was unplayable," he said after a 79. "It was a joke out there. Every single pin was on the high point on every green and knowing the wind is going to be like this, it makes no sense.

"Obviously I'm a little bitter because I've not played very well but I think they have made a mockery of the tournament and that's a bit of a shame. They've got to use their brains when they know it is going to be that windy."

Wilson also agreed with McIlroy's criticisms. "They stopped it for wind and yet it was windier when we got to the ninth – it made no sense," he said. "For me they shouldn't have stopped it in the first place but I don't know what they would do because the 11th green is unplayable. What do you do when it is like that? Do you cancel it and don't go back out or don't cancel and carry on with everyone playing in the same conditions? It seems a bit silly to me."

However, the governing body defended their decision. This was the first wind delay since 1998 at Birkdale and the R&A have always been reluctant to halt play. "A number of greens just became unplayable," said David Rickman, the rules secretary. "We had problems at the 12th, 13th, 10th, 11th and seventh, those out at the far end near the estuary. The odd ball oscillating happens, the odd ball moving happens, but when you have a series of incidents in close succession, that's the time when play is just not possible."

Meanwhile, Trevor Immelman, the former Masters champion, lambasted the rule which sees players penalised if their ball moves in the wind when it is being addressed.

"It's so unfair because you haven't really done anything wrong and the ball starts to roll and you incur a [one-stroke] penalty," he said. "That was the kind of thing you had to be careful of today. It took us 45 minutes to play the 11th hole – and that's a 170-yard par three."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory