CROMWELL -- The rain won Thursday at TPC River Highlands.
Only six of the 156 players finished the first round of the Travelers Championship, which was delayed for 6 hours and 30 minutes before play was suspended for the day at 5:58 p.m.
"A lot of waiting around," said Brandt Snedeker, who never got on the course with a scheduled tee time of 12:55 p.m.
Michael Bradley completed 16 holes and took the early lead at 6 under par.
He and 148 others will return to the course Friday. Players from the morning session Thursday will complete their rounds starting at 7 a.m. The Thursday afternoon wave goes off at 7:15. Tournament officials are hoping the second round is completed Friday, too, but there is a possibility of more rain.
There was no rain and little wind Thursday morning when the first groups teed off.
"It made it very scoreable," said Kevin Chappell, who was 4 under through 15.
But the conditions abruptly worsened. The PGA Tour suspended play at 11:28 a.m. because of "a dangerous situation," in this case thunder and a threat of lightning.
And, of course, it was raining. More than an inch of rain pelted the course.
One shot behind Bradley are Chris Couch (after 17 holes), Bryce Molder (16), John Rollins (15), Bo Van Pelt (15), Vijay Singh (14), Fredrik Jacobson (13) and Andres Romero (12).
Bradley, winner of the Puerto Rico Open, had seven birdies and one bogey (No. 4) in his abbreviated round.
"Iron play and putting," he said of the keys to his scoring. "Hit a lot of good iron shots. I putted well [24 total, including nine one-putts]."
Bradley's best finish in his six previous appearances at River Highlands was a tie for eighth in 1995.
Romero birdied his first four holes (10-13), and there were visions of a record-breaking round. Six players share the course record of 61, the most recent being Kenny Perry in the first round of a tournament he won two years ago.
Romero never had the chance to do it Thursday, but he has six holes left. A bogey at the par-4 15th dropped him back to 3 under before birdies at 17 and 18.
Seventy-eight players were able to tee off. Defending champion Bubba Watson was not one of the them.
"It's the luck sometimes, morning or afternoon draws," said 2006 Buick Championship winner J.J. Henry.
Six players were able to complete their rounds: Kris Blanks (68), Ben Curtis (69), Graham DeLaet (70), Scott Stallings (71), Steve Elkington (71) and Paul Goydos (72).
The rest of the field had to wait - and wait.
"I took a nap," Bo Van Pelt said. "I can sleep anywhere, so I was right in the middle of the locker room. I slept for a good while, so it wasn't too bad."
Henry had two lunches and also made some phone calls.
"I think everybody's cellphone battery is about dead," he said.
The rain subsided in mid-afternoon. There was standing water on some greens, such as 18, and in some bunkers. Low fairways also had large puddles of water.
By that time, the crowd that might have approached 8,000 earlier in the day had departed.
The practice range was opened at 4 p.m. Players and caddies flocked there to warm up. It was announced that play would resume at 5:45. The rain started again. So the re-start was pushed back to 6.
Members of course superintendent Tom DeGrandi's maintenance crew worked fast and well to remove standing water and to make the course playable. Workers squeegeed fairways, greens and tees and raked bunkers.
But then the rain started again. Play was called for the day just before 6.
"We just got to a point where it just wasn't feasible to play golf," said Mark Russell, the tour's vice president of rules and competition. "We just lost the golf course due to saturation."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times