Rain forces early delay at Open

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Heavy rain forced the suspension of play before the first group had even managed to finish the first hole on the second day of the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews.

Persistent rain throughout the early hours got worse just as Jaco van Zyl, Mark Calcavecchia and Marcel Siem teed off at 6.32am.

The downpour saw a torrent of water gushing down Golf Place, the road leading to the R&A clubhouse, and with the greens quickly flooding organisers were left with no option but to suspend proceedings at 6.46am.

Weather forecasters predicted outbreaks of heavy rain in the morning with winds gusting up to 30mph with speeds increasing to 35-40mph in the afternoon but drier conditions.

Jordan Spieth, at five-under-par two off compatriot Dustin Johnson’s lead chasing the third leg of an unprecedented calendar year grand slam and teeing off at 2.34pm, said he was expecting tough conditions.

“It’s definitely going to be a brutal day. We just don’t know when the rain is going to start, when it’s going to stop, if it’s going to come back,” he said.

“I think it will be a true Scottish day that we all should enjoy the challenge ahead.”