Jordan Spieth, who has won the last two majors and is looking to make it three in a row this weekend, is in 14th place with a score of -4.

After several players, including Spieth, complained about the R&A’s call, the governing body issued a statement.

Thousands of customers who paid £80 for a ticket to day three were left short-changed by the elements, but there was a general acceptance of the situation as gusts of up to 45mph caused havoc on the greens and rendered conditions unplayable. Even the front side, the wind was howling and it was blowing straight left-to-right pretty much. The R&A says “this could not be foreseen at the time that play was restarted and made a material difference to the playability of the course“.

Thirty-nine players have yet to complete the second round of the British Open, including a few of the biggest names in the field.

Asked about the incident on the 14th, where his ball was blown down a slope towards that of playing partner Spieth, Johnson added: ” Fortunately it happened in kind of the end part of the second round, so we’ve still got a lot of golf to play, so it is what it is. The cut projects at even par, so Woods finished well off the pace. Woods is ranked No. 241 in the world and shows no signs of turning things around at the British Open, where he will likely miss the cut.

What made it more surprising was the fact that a mere nine months after that jarring setback at the 2012 British Open, when a coronation suddenly turned to despair, Scott bounced back to earn that career-defining major title he so craved with a victory in the Masters.

One day after offering a tongue in cheek forecast about impending Armageddon, Danny Willett was on top of the world as he grabbed the early second-round lead in golf’s oldest major on Friday. Then, after only 32 minutes of play Saturday morning, play was halted again by high winds.

Winds are gusting up to 40 miles per hour, and are not expected to calm significantly until the afternoon. “We have still had a fantastic day and if we see some golf before we go home that will be the icing on the cake”.

Willett, who has won twice on the European Tour but nothing with anywhere near as much kudos as the British Open, said there was little chance he would get carried away with his position on the leaderboard.

R&A rules director David Rickman said his staff spent an hour on the 11th green without seeing a ball move, leading to the decision to try to play.

Spieth also three-putted at the 14th for a par and is four shots off the lead.

The second round resumed on Friday after torrential morning rain had flooded the Old Course, leaving numerous greens, fairways and bunkers under water and causing a lengthy suspension of play. He made two late bogeys but got up-and-down from just short of 18 green for a final birdie to post a 3-under 69 and reach 9-under 135.

The plan is to complete the third round on Sunday and the final round on Monday. He had another three-putt from about 90 feet on the 17th hole.

He said: ‘We didn’t think that we should be playing. Spieth three-putted at his first hole of the day, the par-5 14th, for a par.

But problems were evident elsewhere with overnight leader Dustin Johnson, resuming at 10 under, falling foul of the conditions.