Heavy rain swamps US Open

FIRST-ROUND play was stopped in the 109th US Open after intense rain made Bethpage Black unplayable yesterday, with Tiger Woods two strokes off the pace at one-over after six holes.

FIRST-ROUND play was stopped in the 109th US Open after intense rain made Bethpage Black unplayable yesterday, with Tiger Woods two strokes off the pace at one-over after six holes.

Soaked spectators braved heavy showers to watch a super group of reigning major champions including Woods navigate par-70 course of about 11950km, but rain swamped holes so badly that one green had a flagpole in the centre of a pond.

"The greens are starting to puddle and that's a concern but we have two to four men working on each green with squeegees," said Jim Hyler, US Golf Association vice president and championship committee chairperson.

Half the field of 156 had yet to start.

Sweden's Johan Edfors birdied the par-5 fourth to share the lead at one-under through four when play was halted after barely three hours.

Level for the lead were Canada's Andrew Parr after four holes and Americans Ryan Spears, who finished three holes in the last group to tee off at the first, and Jeff Brehaut.

World number one and defending champion Woods is seeking his 15th major title. -Sapa-AFP

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