June 26, 2006

Further rain delay at Booz Allen Classic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Play was suspended because of rain
after just six minutes of action in the final round of the
weather-delayed Booz Allen Classic in Potomac, Maryland on

The scheduled resumption had already been put back by three
hours following steady overnight rain at the TPC at Avenel.

American Ben Curtis held an eight-stroke lead at 23 under
par after 11 holes with compatriot Billy Andrade and Ireland's
Padraig Harrington his closest challengers.

Andrade holed a 27-foot birdie putt at the last on Monday
to complete a seven-under-par 64 and hold the clubhouse lead at
15-under 269.

Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion, did not have enough
time to complete the 12th hole but Harrington parred the 14th
to stay at 15 under before play was again suspended.

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.