clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 British Open tee times: Restart scheduled for Saturday after darkness ends 2nd round

You can play golf deep into the night this time of year in Scotland, but it got silly at the end of Friday's second round. The players will be back out there at 7 a.m. to restart so the cut can be made.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

While the weather has a more dramatic impact on the golf than at any other major championship, it's rare for the British Open to actually fall off schedule because of the conditions. They play in almost any kind of wind and rain and don't often get the kind of lightning that can wreck a U.S. Open or PGA Championship. Also, the sun rises before 5 a.m. and sets around 10 p.m. in Scotland this time of year so there's plenty of cushion when it comes to daylight.

But on this Friday at St. Andrews, the rain was just too much and the Old Course became unplayable from the start. The first tee time made it to the No. 1 green just after 6:30 a.m. when the horn sounded and they pulled them off the course. What followed was a rainstorm that left much of St. Andrews -- its fairways, greens, teeing areas, and sand traps -- full of standing water. A three hour and 14 minute delay made the regularly scheduled Friday night cut unrealistic. The final tee time of the day did not tee off until 7:27 p.m. local time.

Right around 9:30 p.m. local, the R&A started giving players the option of picking up and ending their round. It was so dark at that point, you had no hope of seeing your ball as soon as it left the club face.

ESPN analysts Paul Azinger and Andy North ripped the decision, with Azinger calling it "ridiculous" and incongruous with the seriousness of a major championship as players could technically leapfrog groups in front of them if they kept going.

With Tom Watson playing his final Open Championship, it became clear that the "player option" ruling was put in place so that the 5-time Open winner could get his 18th hole farewell on Friday night. As soon as Watson teed off the 18th, the horn was set to blow. The ceremony of Watson's farewell, however, did get in the way of conducting the actual championship for the rest of the field. Leader Dustin Johnson finally said "That's it, I'm done." right around 9:45 local when he had no clue where his ball was going. The big screen TVs were the primary source of light around many parts of the course.

Watson finished up the 18th just before 10 p.m with an emotional and much-deserved farewell moment.

The rest of the field will restart the third round at 7 a.m. local in St. Andrews (2 a.m. ET).  The very last group on the course was just through six holes. Tiger Woods' group will restart on the 12th and the trio of Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Hideki Matsuyama will resume on the 14th green.

Torrential rains are in the forecast for Saturday morning so we may be in for more disruption and delay at the restart.