Rain delay at U.S. Open forces Monday finish

(AP) - Barring any more significant rain,the final round of the U.S. Open will begin at midday local timeSunday and a champion at the season's second major could be crownedas early as Monday morning.
About 2.03 centimeters (eight-tenths of an inch) of rain hitBethpage Black overnight, sending at least 100 workers onto thecourse very early Sunday to pump and push the water away. Anotherperiod of rain was expected later in the morning, which is why theUSGA held off a resumption of third-round play until 1600 GMT.
It will be the first 72-hole Monday finish at the U.S. Open in26 years.
"Actually, the forecast for the afternoon is relatively good,"Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition,said Sunday morning. "We could get some light showers late today,but they're not thinking thunderstorms and they're not reallythinking anything heavy, either. So if that's the case, we willplay as long as we can."
The final round was set to begin about 2130 GMT Sunday. Playerswill be sent off both tees in twosomes, but the final group mayonly get one or two holes of the fourth round in before darknesshalts play, which the USGA expects to happen around 0000 GMT.
Sixteen of the 60 players who made the cut did not begin thethird round Saturday, and no one completed more than six holesbefore a burst of showers flooded the greens and stopped playaround 2300 GMT.
Open officials still hoped to finish the final two rounds onSunday, but it rained throughout the night and into the morning.
Ricky Barnes was leading with a record 36-hole score of 8-under132.
"Nothing you can do," Barnes said. "It's kind of like beingstuck in an airport and they won't refund you."