Heavy rain suspends Bethpage Black play

Bethpage Black green keepers attempt to get water off the course as heavy rain engulfs the U.S. Open.
Play in the 109th U.S. Open golf tournament at Bethpage Black has been suspended on Thursday because of heavy rain which has saturated the New York course.

The opening round begun with dark clouds and a gusting wind making life difficult for players and supporters alike. Rain then gradually started to fall and offficials eventually called the field in at 10:15am local time, with players allowed to complete their rounds before returning to the clubhouse. A group of four players; Johan Edfors, Jeff Brehaut, Andrew Parr and Ryan Spears led the way on one-under-par when play was suspended. World number one and defending champion Tiger Woods was two shots off the lead on one-over-par after playing six holes.

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Half the field of 156 had yet to start, including Phil Mickelson, a fan favorite at Bethpage in his last event before wife Amy undergoes breast cancer surgery early next month, and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke. Officials have revealed that the next weather report will be at 13:30pm, but with rain still falling on the course, there is a real possibility that play might not be able to be resumed today.

“The volume of rain falling was outpacing our ability to squeegee the greens,” said USGA championship committee chairman Jim Hyler. “The greens just became unplayable. “Based on the amount of time we’re losing, I don’t think there’s any way to catch up and make the cut on Friday,” Hyler added.