The Open 2015 weather: Play set to restart at 6pm after 45mph winds batter St Andrews to force championship into Monday finish

Leader Dustin Johnson and favourite Jordan Spieth are yet to finish their second round

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Heavy winds hit St Andrews to suspend play at the 144th Open Championship for the second day in a row, with 45mph winds causing all golfers to return to the shelter of the clubhouse.

On Friday play was suspended for three-hours as heavy rain flooded the St Andrews Old Course, and it needed the exceptional drainage facilities at the Scottish course to be at their best to ensure that play resumed later in the day.

However, there was not enough time on Friday to finish the second round, meaning that 42 players – including leader Dustin Johnson and tournament favourite Jordan Spieth – had to return at 7am to resume their rounds.

 

Unfortunately they were met by huge gusts of wind that was having a major effect on play. Johnson felt the full force of this when he went to mark his ball on the 14th green, only to see the wind blow it off before he could get to it and ending in him recording a bogey to drop back to -9 alongside England’s Danny Willett.

The R&A issued updates throughout the day to confirm when play would resume, but with the winds refusing to die down the fans and players were left frustrated with no action to speak of. It was eventually announced that with winds easing, play would restart at 6pm, but only to complete the second round.

It meant that the third round will be penned in to start on Sunday morning, with the final, deciding round to take place on Monay for just the second time in 144 years of The Open.

St-Andrews.jpg
A flag bows in the wind as play is suspended

Spieth meanwhile was fuming that organisers had sent the players out in the conditions, and was picked up on TV saying: "We should never have started."

Play was eventually suspended at 7.32am when the balls were unable to be played because they were moving too much, and the R&A organisers were immediately criticised for not making a decision sooner. With string winds expected until the afternoon, there were fears that play could be delayed even more than it was on Friday.

"It was brutal out there," American Brendon Todd told ESPN.

"They (R&A officials) had balls moving on the green before play so they knew this was going to happen but they started any way and so obviously it was an error.

Dustin-Johnson1.jpg
Dustin Johnson speaks with officials after his ball is blown off the green

"If they are going to call play off, why did we start? I don't like when they make a bad decision to play in the first place.

"You are standing over a putt wondering whether the ball is going to roll under your putter.

"In my opinion, we shouldn't have resumed. They needed to wait to be certain balls were not rolling on the greens and until that point we should not have started."

 

Todd added: "I don't see how they can start play again until that point.

"It means guys finishing their rounds late and playing late in the day, probably up to 10pm again."

Jordan-Spieth1.jpgBubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott said on Twitter: "Every R & A official in player dining is getting yelled at. Lots of players p****d in here."

England’s Lee Westwood added: "Bit of a strange decision here TheOpen . They seemed to stop play out on 11 and allowed the rest of us to carry on playing."

Comments