Heavy Rains Causing Problems in Italy


European Tour MILAN, Italy -- Heavy rain forced close to a nine-hour delay Friday at the Italian Open. The second round started on time, but was halted after 50 minutes.
When players returned to Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club nearly nine hours after the delay began, the scores they posted earlier in the day were wiped out and the round began anew at 5:15 p.m. local time. Officials erased those scores because preferred lies were not effect then, but were in effect when play resumed.
Action was eventually suspended due to darkness. The second round will resume at 7:45 a.m. local time Saturday. Officials hope to make the cut and have the third round commence at approximately 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
'It crossed my mind to play preferred lies from the outset, but I was brought up in the school of mind that people don't want to use preferred lies if they don't have to,' said Andy McFee, senior referee of the European Tour. 'In hindsight, we perhaps should have put it on right away, but I was influenced by the fact we had a pretty good day (Thursday) after three inches of rain the day before.
'It is one of those things where you are not going to please everybody, you can't do that. You have to make a judgment on what you think is the right thing to do and the right way forward.'
First-round leader Joakim Backstrom had not teed off Friday. He was joined in the lead at 10 under par by Alvaro Quiros and Markus Brier, who won the Volvo China Open earlier this year.
Quiros was 3-under through 10 holes of the second round, while Brier was minus-1 after eight holes.
Defending champion Francesco Molinari and Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano share fourth place at minus-8. Those two were both minus-3 for their rounds with the Italian through nine holes and the Spaniard through 11.
Quiros played the back nine first and carded eight pars and one birdie over his first nine holes. Around the turn, he eagled the par-5 first prior to play being halted for the day.
Brier also started on the second nine. He birdied the 10th, but gave a stroke back at the 13th. Brier atoned for that mistake with a birdie at 14 and parred the following three holes before action stopped.
James Heath carded a 7-under 65 Thursday, but did not get any action in on Friday. He was joined in a share of sixth place by Richard Finch, Maarten Lafeber, Andrew Marshall, Raphael Jacquelin, Marcus Fraser and Andrew McLardy. Those six completed between five and 12 holes of their second rounds.
Charl Schwartzel is one of six players tied at minus-6, while Simon Khan is one of 10 golfers at 5 under par.
Duffy Waldorf and U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman are tied for 29th at minus-4.
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