Open to finish on Monday for first time since 1988

Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:47pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - The British Open will end on a Monday for the first time since the late Seve Ballesteros won at Royal Lytham in 1988 after high winds caused havoc on Saturday.

The Royal and Ancient (R&A) organizers announced their plan for the delayed second round to be completed later on Saturday, for the third round to be played on Sunday and for the final round to be contested on Monday.

It will be only the second Monday finish in British Open history.

A howling 45mph gale forced play to be suspended around half an hour after the golfers had returned to St Andrews at 7am to try to complete their second rounds.

When 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen's ball began blowing wildly across the 13th green at around 0730 organizers called a halt to proceedings, although a few groups managed to finish the holes they were on.

"The forecasts predict a drop in wind speeds between 3 and 4pm," said the R&A. "Play is expected to resume at 4pm providing acceptable wind speeds."

Saturday's brief passage of play was a damaging one for leader Dustin Johnson who had returned to the edge of the 14th green that he had reached in two the previous night.

A poor chip and a three-putt dropped him to a share of the lead on nine-under-par with England's Danny Willett who was safely in the clubhouse.   Continued...

A flag waves in the wind on the 15th green as play is suspended due to high winds during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Childs