"Why did we even start!?" Dustin Johnson, who lost his one-shot lead in the brief 30-minute resumption of the British Open on Saturday, yelled to a rules official.
Players went out on the course and were back in place for a 7 a.m. local restart at St. Andrews, but the conditions were ridiculous from the outset. Balls were being blown around on the green. Players kept backing off their ball at address as it oscillated in the winds. Johnson had his ball blown off the green and way down a hill before he could mark it. He made a bogey at that spot, the par-5 14th. Johnson, the longest hitter in the game, almost never makes a bogey on a par-5 but he needed four strokes from just off the green where he restarted.
Louis Ooshuizen was just two shots off the lead but kept having his ball blown around before he could putt it.
The ball moved yet again before he could mark it and a rules official arrived on the scene. Dottie Pepper, who was the ESPN analyst walking with the group, said it was one of the most unfair things she'd ever seen on a golf course.
And with that, we were done and play was called at 7:32 a.m. The players were furious. Paul Azinger called it an injustice and repeatedly used the word "unfair" as well. The biggest issue was that the 11th hole was unplayable, so the group that restarted there never made a shot while Johnson, for example, played two holes and made eight shots.
Johnson was not the only person that openly questioned the decision to restart. His playing partner, Jordan Spieth, was with him.
"Shouldn't even have started" says an understandably annoyed @JordanSpeith after @TheOpen play suspended due to wind.— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 18, 2015
Bit of a strange decision here @TheOpen . They seemed to stop play out on 11 and allowed the rest of us to carry on playing.— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) July 18, 2015
More than disappointed in the R&A. Some groups hit only 1 shot while others played on. It needs to be a fair contest and wasn't this morning— David Hearn (@HearnDavid) July 18, 2015
"You're standing over a putt wondering if the ball's going to roll into your putter. That's an unnerving thought." - @BrendonTodd— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2015
The players were taken off the course and not held in place. It was a bit of a farce and the gusts of 40 mph are supposed to last into the afternoon so this delay may be awhile.
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