x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

US Open heading to a Monday finish

The 109th US Open was heading for a first Monday finish since 1983 after more heavy rain fell on the Bethpage Black course overnight.

Grounds staff at the Bethpage Black course try to move standing water from the heavy rainfall in the New York area this weekend.
Grounds staff at the Bethpage Black course try to move standing water from the heavy rainfall in the New York area this weekend.

The 109th US Open was heading for a first Monday finish since 1983 after more heavy rain fell on the Bethpage Black course overnight. The downpour, which began at around 7.10pm local last night, quickly saw the greens flood after a week-long barrage of rainfall on Long Island. That led tournament officials from the United States Golf Association (USGA) to suspend play for the day with some players in the remaining 60-man field, including the halfway leader Ricky Barnes, still not having started their third rounds. With the storms continuing through the night, and a further three-quarters of an inch of rain landing on the Black course at Bethpage State Park, officials decided to delay play until noon (8pm UAE), pushing fourth-round play back into Monday for the first time in 26 years.

The weather could also cause a headache for match officials if the tournament goes to a play-off. In US Open rules, a further 18 holes must be played. Last year play carried over on to a Monday when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. USGA officials earlier in the week, after play was all but washed out the opening day, said they would not name a champion until at least all 72 holes of play were completed. Barnes leads by one stroke at eight-under par from fellow American Lucas Glover, his 132 from two rounds going into the record books as the lowest 36-hole score in US Open history. Mike Weir will begin a further shot back in third place with Peter Hanson of Sweden, the Japanese Azuma Yano and the American David Duval, the former Open champion, tied for fourth at three-under. The England duo Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher are in a group at two under with Westwood completing the first hole on resumption of play by parring the par four. Oliver Wilson, who got to one-under alongside Phil Mickelson with a birdie before last night's suspension, resumed on the fifth hole while Sergio Garcia was at level par having played three and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell restarted after six holes on the back nine at one over. McDowell's compatriot Rory McIlroy resumed at two over on the 15th hole having started at the 10th tee but immediately bogeyed the par four to fall to three over, where the defending champion Tiger Woods began his day having parred his opening hole. Ian Poulter had yet to start his third round after posting a second-round 74 to slip to four over with Barnes and Glover forming the final pairing set to go off the last of the 16 players not to have already begun.

*PA Sport