Europe and the USA will begin their second Ryder Cup practice day a few hours late after officials at the K Club in Ireland imposed a delay on Wednesday morning for the sake of the course and the safety of the players and spectators.

Wind speeds reached upwards of 40mph this morning as Ireland fell foul of the tail end of Hurricane Gordon, and heavy downpours have also added to the concerns. European skipper Ian Woosnam yesterday voiced his concern that the weather may play a very disruptive part in this weekend’s events and raised questions about the state of the course, which currently has pools of rainwater in its bunkers and on the fairways.

The decision to hold back practice was a joint one made by police, the K Club, Ryder Cup officials and local health and safety staff. More bad weather is forecast ahead of Friday’s opening day. This morning spectators were asked to delay their arrival at the K Club until further notice, which came at about 09:30 BST. The bad weather has not stopped huge crowds attending today’s session, where amongst the first Europeans to emerge were Darren Clarke and Jose Maria Olazabal (pictured).

“All structures have been checked and loose impediments such as screens and fencing secured,” said a statement from Ryder Cup officials.

“With 45,000 spectators anticipated both Ryder Cup LLP and the police were quite clear that health and safety issues were of paramount importance. We would like to thank the public for their co-operation, especially those who had to wait in the park and ride areas.”