Golf: Heavy rain forces play to be suspended at start of second round of British Open

Groundstaff remove water from the first hole 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, on July 17, 2015.
Groundstaff remove water from the first hole 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, on July 17, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

ST ANDREWS (AFP) - Torrential rain forced a lengthy suspension of play in the second round of the British Open at St Andrews on Friday.

The bad weather sweeping in off the North Sea had been widely forecast and it arrived on time just as the first players were set to march out for round two.

By 8 am local time, large puddles had formed on the Old Course's fairways and greens as the deluge continued and director of greenkeeping Gordon Moir said that no time could yet be set for play to resume.

"We are going to have as many people out there as possible with squeegies and pumps," he told the BBC, adding that a break in the weather was expected later in the morning.

"It's a little bit disappointing as the course has been in such good condition in the last few weeks."

Leader Dustin Johnson, history-maker Jordan Spieth and a desperate Tiger Woods were among those anxiously looking up at the skies to have an idea of whether they would be able to complete their second round by day's end. All had afternoon tee-times.