First Monday finish for Ryder Cup as rain returns

By Tony Jimenez

NEWPORT, Wales (Reuters) - The Ryder Cup will have a Monday finish for the first time after torrential rain caused more delays at waterlogged Celtic Manor Sunday.

Organizers of the 38th match between Europe and the U.S. said the 12 singles matches, initially planned for Sunday, would now start at 9:05 a.m. local time (4:05 a.m. EDT) Monday.

Spectators were prevented from entering the course early on Sunday morning after heavy rain made the Twenty Ten layout unplayable and turned the walkways and access routes into quagmires.

By mid-morning the rain began to move away and play was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. local time when the concluding two foursomes and four fourball matches would be completed.

Fans were eventually allowed to start entering the course at 11:00 a.m.

The United States holders are leading 6-4 overall but trailed in all the matches on the course when the light faded on Saturday evening.


Ryder Cup meteorologist Mike McClellan said 12.8mm (half an inch) of rain had fallen since 3:45 a.m. Sunday but was confident the worst of the weather would move north in the afternoon.

"We had a very large storm system swirling across southern Wales and it is moving north east very slowly," he told Reuters from inside his hut where he was surrounded by various laptops showing the latest satellite projections.

He said Monday's forecast was good.

"The weather forecast really improves late tonight into tomorrow with a mini high pressure system coming in. That will clear the skies and we don't expect any rain Monday," added McClellan.

The opening day of the biennial team event was also ruined by heavy rain Friday, with play suspended for more than seven hours.

However, with some tweaking of the sessions, Organizers had hoped to get back on schedule for a Sunday finish.

They scrapped the planned fourth session of pairs matches and squeezed two extra matches into the previous two sessions.

Organizers said 52.2mm (2.04 inches) of rain had fallen on the course between 5 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Martyn Herman)