The Open 2015: Englishman Danny Willett leads at St Andrews on rain hit day

Tee-times pushed back on second day

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Danny Willett had feared Armageddon ahead of Friday's second round, but the vicar's son from Sheffield mastered the conditions to lead the weather-affected Open Championship at St Andrews.

Torrential early rain meant the first group had not completed the opening hole before play was suspended due to waterlogged greens and fairways on the Old Course, leading to a delay of three hours and 14 minutes.

Live: Latest leaderboard from The Open 2015

When play resumed at 10am, Willett - who carded an opening 66 to lie one behind overnight leader Dustin Johnson - took full advantage of the relatively benign conditions with birdies on the second and fifth to claim the outright lead.

The 27-year-old was joined on eight under when Zach Johnson also picked up shots on the fifth and sixth, but after Willett holed from 25 feet for birdie on the ninth and just five feet on the 10th, Johnson three-putted the 11th and dropped another shot on the 12th.

As the wind strengthened, that gave Willett a three-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, who was now not due out until 5:48pm alongside Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth due to the earlier delay.

With the last group scheduled to tee off at 7:27pm, many players will have to return on Saturday to complete their second rounds.


Please allow a moment for the scoreboard to load...


But R&A chief executive Peter Dawson insisted that significant changes would not be made to the order of play, unlike last year at Royal Liverpool when a two-tee start was used for the first time in Open history due to a bad weather forecast for Saturday's third round.

"[We've] only done it once at Hoylake," Dawson told the BBC. "The prospect of changing it during competition and doing a two-tee start is not something we are going to do. The order you play the holes in on a links course is very important."


"The forecast is for very strong winds so it is a very tough course today and tomorrow, but because we have had so much rain it's nowhere near as fiery as it can be so I'm very hopeful that (wind) won't affect play.

"Our target is to finish on Sunday. We do have the ability to go into Monday (the last time that happened was at Lytham in 1988), but we certainly hope not to."

Live: Latest leaderboard from The Open 2015