NEWPORT, Wales – Ryder Cup play was suspended at 9:45 a.m. local time, two hours into Friday’s start of the matches.
American Steve Stricker’s predicament appeared to factor into the decision. In casual water playing the fourth hole, he struggled to find a place to take a drop with puddles and rivers of rain everywhere. Tiger Woods required four shots to reach the first green. He slashed his second and third shots from the rough, barely advancing the ball 100 yards before pitching his fourth onto the green.
Europe led in three of the four matches when play was halted. It's the first suspension of play in the Ryder Cup since 1997 at Valderrama.
'Any other tournamenht would have been stopped,' European assistant captain Thomas Bjorn said. 'It was just too wet to play. It was impossible to continue. We were in a situation where people were considering dropping from the fairway into the rough, It was becoming quite silly.'
Maintenance crews have been busy squeegeeing greens and fairways and pumping water out of bunkers. The rain began in the early morning hours Friday long before the matches began. Rain was coming down sideways in the wind when play was halted. Though a forecast early in the week called for better weather on the weekend, the forecast now calls for rain on Saturday and Sunday, raising the possibility that play could be pushed into Monday.
Bjorn said European players are comfortable playing through bad weather.
'Our guys are quite used to this,' he said.
American captain Corey Pavin claimed the same for his team.
'They just played in the rain in Atlanta last weekend,' Pavin said.