Ryder Cup battles Welsh rain on first day. Will it finish on schedule?

Ryder Cup: The first day of the golf competition in Wales was delayed by heavy rain for several hours Friday. Because of the bad weather, the first set of Ryder Cup matches will have to be completed on Saturday morning.

Peter Morrison/AP Photo
A waterlogged green is seen during heavy rainfall that suspended play during the 2010 Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Celtic Manor golf course in Newport, Wales, Friday, Oct. 1.
Matt Dunham/AP Photo
Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits a shot out of the bunker on the 7th hole during the 2010 Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Celtic Manor golf course in Newport, Wales, Friday, Oct. 1.

After playing and watching many a British Open over the years, players on both teams in this year's Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales this weekend were mentally prepared to play through some rain drops.

What they weren't ready for was a deluge that delayed the morning fourball competition for more than seven hours Friday, according to the Associated Press. Play resumed late in the day and was halted as the sun went down.

To the moment, the US leads in two matches. The European pair of Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer leads the American duo of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in one and the fourth fourball match, featuring Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker of the US, is all square through ten holes.

The US squad had to take not just the elements; they had to withstand their own clothing. Apparently, the rain coats and pants provided by Sun Mountain soaked up too much rainwater and weighed the players down. One of US captain Corey Pavin's assistants was sent to the Ryder Cup merchandise tent on the course and bought 20 sets of raingear for players, caddies and team officials.

The plan now, according to Ryder Cup officials, is to complete the fourball matches Saturday morning. Then, six foursome matches will go off in the second session. A quartet of fourball matches and two foursome matches will follow that, with the hope that all 12 singles matches can go off on Sunday to complete the competition on time.

Sunday's forecast: More rain. If play is postponed, the tournament will extend to Monday.

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