Players aren't buying what the R&A is selling on resuming play Saturday
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- R&A officials say they spent an hour at the far end of the Old Course prior to the 7 a.m. scheduled re-start assessing if conditions were suitable to resume the Open Championship's second round. Believing the course was playable despite gusty winds, they felt comfortable giving it a go.
They, however, appear to have been in the minority.
After play was halted only 30 minutes later when the winds made marking balls on the putting greens too difficult, several players and caddies seemed to be wondering why they were even sent back on the course.
Jordan Spieth was seen saying as he left the course when play was again stopped: "Shouldn't have even started."
Dustin Johnson was likely having a similar thought. Lieing 2 near the green on the par-5 14th when play resumed, Johnson pitched his third shot, only to hit it short of the hole and watch it blow back off the front of the green. Three-putting from there, Johnson dropped a shot that dropped him into a share of the lead with Danny Willett at nine under.
Other players took to Twitter to offer their views.
R&A officials said that the wind gusts increased in speed by 10 to 15 percent after play resumed. "This could not be foreseen at the time that play was restarted and made a material difference to the playability of the golf course," the R&A said in a statement.
Umm, yeah. But that doesn't make the situation any easier to swallow.
UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. St Andrews time: The R&A has announced that play isn't expected to resume until 4 p.m. local time at the earliest. Because of this, the plan is to complete the second round today with the third round to be played on Sunday and the final round on Monday. This is only the second time they will have had a Monday finish at the Open, the other being in 1988 at Royal Lytham.