Rain, floods shorten Scottish Open

Organizers say the Scottish Open has been shortened to a 54-hole event after torrential overnight rain flooded the Castle Stuart links course at Inverness.

The European Tour says there will be no play on Saturday until early evening, and the threat of more rain and thunderstorms could wipe out the entire third day’s play.

Half of the 156-man field were unable to complete their second rounds on Friday, leaving 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell in a share of the lead at 11 under with Scottish pair Peter Whiteford and Scott Jamieson.

If play resumes Saturday, spectators will not be allowed on the first three holes or Nos. 10 and 12.

The third round and final is scheduled to take place on Sunday while there is also the possibility of the tournament spilling over into Monday — but only to conclude a round, not to start one.

The British Open — the third major of the year — starts Thursday.

Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell was in a three-way share of the lead at 11 under with Scottish pair Peter Whiteford and Scott Jamieson. All three players finished their second rounds in dry, still conditions early on Friday.

Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara was one shot adrift, with three players — Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie — at 9 under.

First-round leaders Lee Westwood of England, Mark Tullo of Chileas and top-ranked Luke Donald still have to complete their second rounds. All three were on 7 under when play was stopped early Friday.