June 26, 2006

Further weather delay at Booz Allen Classic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The start of play was put back by
three hours at the weather-delayed Booz Allen Classic in
Potomac, Maryland on Monday because of overnight rain.

American Ben Curtis, who held an eight-stroke lead with
seven holes remaining when the final round was suspended on
Sunday, was scheduled to resume at 1100 local (1500 GMT).

Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, was at 23 under par
after 11 holes with Ireland's Padraig Harrington his closest
challenger at 15 under through 13.

The weather problems at the Booz Allen Classic had already
forced a change in Monday's British Open international
qualifier being held at nearby Congressional Country Club.

The U.S. leg of final international qualifying for the
third major championship of the year has been reduced from 36
holes to 18, with a chance that it may spill over into Tuesday.

Twelve Open spots are on offer from a field of 112 at
Congressional which includes 1995 PGA champion Steve Elkington
of Australia, Britons Lee Westwood and Justin Rose and Shigeki
Maruyama of Japan.