Weather forces two-tee start for the first time in the history of the British Open

Rory McIlroy tees off on the 10th hole at Royal Liverpool during Friday's second round.
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HOYLAKE, England (AP) — The British Open will use a two-tee start for the first time in the tournament's 154-year history for Saturday's third round due to predicted heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Tournament official David Rickman said Friday play is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) Saturday off the first and 10th tees. That compressed schedule would allow for up to five hours of delays and enable the round to be completed.

The British Open has always used a one-tee start, but Rickman says the decision to use a second for the 70-plus players would allow the tournament "to stay on track so we are in a better place on Sunday."

The forecast calls for deteriorating weather to begin overnight Friday, with an expected break of up to four hours late Saturday morning.