Play resumes at Open after morning deluge

Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:40am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - The second round of the British Open resumed on Friday after torrential morning rain flooded the Old Course at St Andrews, leaving many of the greens, fairways and bunkers under water.

Play had started at 6.32am but the first group, which included former champion Mark Calcavecchia, did not even complete the first hole before conditions became unplayable.

Around 100 groundstaff were trying to clear water from the course while the few brave fans who arrived early huddled in the exposed rain-lashed grandstands.

Sand bags were needed to prevent floodwater entering the media center.

"Staff have cleared a lot of the water so the course should be playable," David Rickman, the Royal and Ancient's head of rules, said.

"Golfers will have to play the ball as it lies but the casual water rule will apply. So players have free relief if their ball or their stance is in the water."

Casual water refers to water laying in bunkers and fairways.

While the rain is expected to relent for most of the day, winds are expected to increase throughout the day, with gusts of 35mph, according to the latest Met Office forecasts.   Continued...

Groundstaff remove water from the 18th green after torrential rain forced play to be suspended during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 17, 2015.    REUTERS/Eddie Keogh