Electrical storms and rain forced the postponement for the first round of the World Golf Championships – NEC Invitational after less than three hours play at Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio.
The first player on the course, Lee Janzen, had only played 15 holes and two pairings had still to begin their round when play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 2.05pm local time.
Play was due to re-commence at 5.30, but the presence of a further electrical cell and 80 per cent chance of lightning meant that the US PGA Tour’s Senior Director of Rules decided to call a halt for the day.
The players will resume at 7.30am local time with the second round being played in three balls immediately afterwards.
When the klaxon sounded, Sergio Garcia of Spain was the leading European among the 41-strong elite field. Garcia, the master of the short game, was one under par after seven holes thanks to some devastating up-and-downs.
John Huston, Steve Elkington, Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman and Greg Turner were all on two under par while Garcia was joined on one under by, among others, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods, who pushed the Spanish teenager into second place in the US PGA recently.
Of the remainder of the European Ryder Cup team, Jesper Parnevik was level after 11, Colin Montgomerie level at one, Jean Van de Velde and Andrew Coltart one over after ten, Padraig Harrington one over after five, Jose Maria Olazabal one over after three, Miguel Angel Jimenez two over after nine, Darren Clarke three over after eight and Lee Westwood four over after eight.