Grounds crew workers try to stay ahead of the heavy rains that fell on the Twenty Ten Course most of Friday morning. (Montana Pritchard, The PGA of America)
Hurry up and wait in wet Wales
Mother Nature has not been very cooperative during the opening day of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Heavy rains Friday have pelted the Twenty Ten Course off and on, causing the morning fourball matches to be suspended. By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer
NEWPORT, Wales -- A literal damper was put on the 2010 Ryder Cup as heavy rains pounded the Celtic Manor Resort's Twenty Ten Course Friday morning, halting the opening fourball matches just two hours into the proceedings.
Play, which began at 7:45 a.m. local time with American rookie Dustin Johnson striking the first shot, was officially suspended at 9:45 a.m. when the relentless rain began to puddle in fairways and on greens, making it nearly impossible for maintenance crews to keep up with their squeegees.
Officials reportedly will evaluate the course conditions at noon to decide if and when play will resume. Once they decide to resume -- and based on the forecast, which calls for dryer weather as the day wears on, players will first be given the opportunity to warm up. This marks the first time since the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama in San Roque, Spain, that play has been suspended due to weather.
Here's a recap of what went on before the delay:
The first match, which had Johnson paired with Phil Mickelson against the European tandem of Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, were playing the par-4 sixth hole when play was suspended. The Europeans had a 2-up advantage thanks to a Westwood birdie at the second hole and a bogey by Mickelson on No. 4.
In the morning's second match, the Northern Ireland pair of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell own a 1-up edge over Georgia Tech products Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar. Cink birdied the third hole to draw even with the Europeans, but a bogey at No. 4 put the Americans 1-down.
Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were paired together in the morning's third match and were 1-down to Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher after Poulter made a lengthy birdie putt on No. 3.
Rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton were making the only noise for the U.S. side in the morning session before play was called, winning the first two holes with a birdie apiece for a 2-up advantage over European Ryder Cup stars Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington.