Saturday Notebook: Perfect storm hits Old Course at St. Andrews
By Tim Dahlberg
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Open Championship officials found themselves in the perfect storm amid the storms that hit the Old Course at St. Andrews.
In anticipation of heavy rain that inundated the course Friday, delaying play more than three hours, officials had put pins on high locations of greens so that play would not be affected even more.
But when wind gusting to 45 mph hit early Saturday morning, those locations were so exposed that players could not keep their balls from moving on the holes near the sea.
The result was a delay of 10 hours and 46 minutes that forced officials to move back the final day of the Open to Monday, the first time that's happened since 1988.
"It was always going to be a difficult day, we knew that," R&A Rules Director David Rickman said. "But we were keen to give it a go."
REED'S RETREAT: Many players retreated to their rooms at the plush Old Course Hotel, located beside the 17th fairway at St. Andrews, while play was suspended for 10 hours on Saturday because of raging wind.
All Patrick Reed had was a couch in a dining hall.
Reed is staying with friends and family in a place 25 miles from the Old Course, so didn't fancy making the trip back while the R&A deliberated when to resume play.
"They had two couches by a table, and we stayed there the entire time," Reed said after his 2-under 70 in his second round. "Whenever they say, 'OK, we'll update you in an hour,' it's just not enough time for us to be able to go all the way back to where we're staying and back, so we just had to hunker down here."
It felt like an even longer day for Reed because he had only 3 1/2 hours of sleep, having finished in the gloom Friday and restarted again at 7:00 a.m. in a group with Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.
Reed was 2 under for the tournament, eight shots off the lead.
DUVAL MAKES CUT: Former Open champion David Duval needed to birdie the last hole to do it, but made the cut in the Open for the first time since 2008.
Duval, who won in 2001 at Lytham, needed only a short putt on the 18th hole to make the cut on the number at even par.
The 43-year-old Duval, once the No. 1 player in the world and considered a rival to Tiger Woods, has cut back on his schedule in recent years and plays only sporadically now. He has a side career as an analyst at the Golf Channel.
He shot two rounds of 72, and is 10 shots off the lead.
FIRST ACE: Daniel Brooks missed the cut in his first Open, but will take a special memory home from St. Andrews.
The Englishman made a hole-in-one at the 174-yard 11th hole shortly after play resumed following a suspension of more than 10 hours because of high winds.
When Brooks saw the ball disappear into the cup, he threw up his arms and slapped hands with his caddie.
Despite making the first hole-in-one at the home of golf this week, Brooks missed the cut by five shots after finishing the first two rounds on 5-over 149. He was one of the last players to get into the Open, qualifying with a seventh-place finish last weekend at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
SUCCESSFUL DEBUT: Scott Arnold didn't mind the weather delay, and was excited to get back on the course in the second round. Once he got there, four straight birdies gave the mini-tour player from Australia a chance to keep playing in his first major championship.
"I can't really put into words how good I feel at the moment," said Arnold, who went through a qualifier to get into the Open.
Arnold made the cut on the number after his string of birdies beginning at the 12th hole. A bogey on 17 left him at even par, and he managed to make a final par on 18 despite nearly topping his ball off the tee.
"I think it's probably one of the best two-putts of my life, let me tell you," Arnold said of the 18th hole.
The 29-year-old plays on the European Challenge Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia, but has yet to have a big breakthrough since turning pro in 2009.
Now the son of a professional golfer is playing in the final two rounds of the Open, with a guaranteed paycheck and no worries at all.
"I think a bit of pressure is off now, really," he said. "I've got nothing to lose."
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