Spieth Leads Criticism as British Open Delayed Again by Weather

CKM35MZWoAAlCsi

Play was suspended Saturday at the British Open for the second successive morning as winds in excess of 40mph made it impossible for balls to settle on the greens at St. Andrews. The R&A has announced that round three will be played on Sunday and round four on Monday.

Competitors still to complete their second rounds had returned for a 7am BST start on Saturday morning, with Friday’s play having been delayed by over three hours due to heavy rain. But after 30 minutes, play was suspended again. They’ll attempt to finish on Saturday evening after the bad weather clears up.

On-course microphones picked up Jordan Spieth saying: “We should never even have started.” The 21-year-old American is chasing the third leg of the Grand Slam. Spieth remained at five under par, four shots behind playing partner Dustin Johnson, who shares the lead with Danny Willett.

Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods and Louis Oosthuizen struggle in gale force winds

Spieth was not the only major player who was critical Saturday morning of the R&A’s response to the inclement weather.

Britain’s Lee Westwood and David Hearn were both extremely critical of the way the situation had been handled:

In response to growing concerns and criticisms, the R&A issued a swift statement: “We spent an hour at the far end of the course, before play started, assessing whether the course was playable. Balls were not moving on the greens and while the conditions were extremely difficult, we considered the golf course to be playable. Gusts of wind increased in speed by 10-15% 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.”

Bubba Watson’s caddy Ted Scott also picked up on the criticism:

Current forecasts call for the winds to finally die down by early afternoon. Play is expected to resume around 5 p.m. local time, Noon ET. Johnson, Spieth, Oosthuizen and several other high profile players still need to finish their second round.