EARLY tearaway leader Ricky Barnes had dropped a couple of strokes but Australia’s Michael Sim had faired little better as partial final rounds of the US Open were halted due to poor light.
Americans Barnes and Lucas Glover were at seven under after just one final round hole, with a resurgent Phil Mickelson looming behind at minus two.
Sim is paired with Tiger Woods (sitting on Even after seven holes) and both he and Adam Scott (9 holes completed) are at four over. Australian television coverage will recommence early Tuesday morning. Live Leaderboard below.
Day 2 & 3
ADAM SCOTT was sitting at two under par and was the surprise leading Australian midway through his US Open second round when the second day’s play was suspended as darkness fell.
Turning around recent poor form, Scott was in a tie for sixth place, four shots behind the leader, American Lucas Glover, who overtook Canada’s Mike Weir.
Scott was one of a number of competitors playing virtual back to back rounds after rain affected the first day. They had by far the best of conditions over others, including Tiger Woods, who will begin his second round overnight Australian time on four over.
MICHAEL SIM and 2006 champion Geoff Ogilvy were the leading Australians when heavy rain brought the first round of the 2009 US Open Golf to a premature end at Bethpage Black.
Half the field, including five Australians, had not teed off when play was halted and no one had made it past their 11th hole.
Sim and Ogilvy were one over par and two strokes behind the joint leaders after seven and five holes respectively.
Sim, continuing his great Nationwide Tour form, birdied his 5th hole and shared the lead but bogeyed his 6th and 7th holes (He started on the 10th. Ogilvy bogeyed the 12th.
Defending champion Tiger Woods was among the players to start his first round and had reached the seventh when the siren went to suspend play.
Woods was one-over-par – two behind four co-leaders, Johan Edfors, Andrew Parr, Ryan Spears and Jeff Brehaut – and headed for the clubhouse with a 10-foot putt for par on the green.
Robert Allenby (through seven) and Rod Pampling (four) sat at two over when officials decided at 2pm to abandon play.
The first round is due to resume at 7.30am local time on Friday.
With rain expected to continue into Friday – and Saturday promising a deluge equal to Thursday’s – Mike Davis, the USGA senior director of rules and competitions, said a Monday (Tuesday Australia) finish was looking a distinct possibility as the body would not contemplate deciding the champion in fewer than 72 holes.
“It’s only going to get worse but we will see what happens,” Englishman Paul Casey said of the weather forecast.
“You are certainly going to have to strike the ball very well but it’s going to be the guy who keeps his head this week.”
GEOFF OGILVY will lead a 12 strong Australasian contingent that includes four players making their debut when the 2009 US OPEN Championship begins at Bethpage State Park in New York Friday morning Australian time.
World number five Ogilvy, along with New Zealand’s Michael Campbell are former champions who will be vying for another shot at the title after winning the event in consecutive years. Campbell’s 2005 victory at Pinehurst over a stellar field, in particular holding out the challenge from Tiger Woods, will go down in the record books as one of the more remarkable wins in US Open history, while Ogilvy proved he had the mettle to outlast his then more fancied rivals Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie to claim victory a year later, ending an 11 year drought for the Australians at the Majors.
The pair head to Bethpage State Park alongside four newcomers to the Major’s scene, including Australians James Nitties, Michael Sim and Matthew Jones as well as New Zealander Doug Batty. All four qualified for the event through sectional qualifying.
In contrast 38 year old Stuart Appleby, making his 13th appearance, is the most experienced of the Aussie group.
The 2009 US Open Championship will be the 109th edition, and will be the second U.S. Open played at Bethpage Black; the first was won by Tiger Woods in 2002.
The Australasian Field of 12 is: Steve Allan, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Doug Batty (NZL), Michael Campbell (NZL), Matt Jones, James Nitties, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling, Adam Scott, Michael Sim and David Smail (NZL).
Last year Ogilvy finished the best of the Australasians on four-over par, five shots behind Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate in a tie for ninth. Woods eventually won the 18 hole playoff event.
Australian Television Broadcast Times
The US OPEN to be televised LIVE on Network Ten and Ten’s ONE HD digital channel with more than 24 hours of live telecasts from Friday to Monday. The telecast will be shown on Friday and Saturday from 3am to 9am in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, 2:30am to 8:30am in Adelaide and 1am to 7am in Perth. Sunday’s coverage will air from 4am to 10am in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, 3:30am to 9:30am in Adelaide and from 2am to 8am in Perth. The final round will be shown live Monday from 3:30am to 9:30am in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, 3am to 9am in Adelaide and 1:30am to 7:30am in Perth. Times are the same for both Ten and ONE HD.