ATLANTA, JULY 13 -- Play at the 1990 U.S. Women's Open was halted three times for a total of more than six hours today as sporadic rains dropped at least two inches on the Riverside course of the Atlanta Athletic Club, leaving standing water, standing-around golfers and frazzled nerves.

"I think the fuses are getting a little bit short . . . " said Patty Sheehan, after the weather one-upped itself from Thursday's two storm delays. Still, Sheehan birdied the first hole after starting at 7:45 p.m. EDT to get to seven under par. Building on a six-under 66 from Thursday's first round, Sheehan shot par the following two holes to remain at seven under when play was suspended at 8:30.

When the horn blew, 84 players had not completed second-round play. With 30 players having had to finish Thursday's round today, six groups had not even started their second round.

With the delays, the first at 9:49 a.m., the last at 5:20, and the drizzle came a softened course that forced the field back into their bags. Jane Geddes said the rains had created a "three-club difference" in club selection.

Geddes, who began the day tied with Sheehan at 66, finished it at four under, with a complete-round 74. That slotted her in third place, also behind Colleen Walker's six under. "Today it was tough," Geddes said. "Very tough."

Walker might disagree. Playing together with Sheehan and Nancy Lopez, she birdied holes 1, 2 and 3, then was halted by darkness.

"The greens are holding. You can really fly it right to the pin now," Walker, an eight-year veteran of the LPGA, said after the abbreviated effort following up her opening 69.

Lopez dropped to fourth after a bogey on No. 1 put her at three under for the tournament. Four players were at two under, Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon with completed second rounds of 71-71 -- 142 each against Geddes' 140 -- and Jerilyn Britz and Janet Anderson through five second-round holes apiece.

Geddes spent more than 11 hours on the course today and said she felt like "I'm on a golf marathon. I told my caddie . . . when we play 18 holes without stopping we're going to feel like we're running."

She said she thought she was striking the ball better today but the delays broke her rhythm. "Yesterday I played well because I got on a roll. Today there was no such thing as a roll. It's weird because you're not playing a golf round. . . . You're just trying to survive."

U.S. Golf Association officials said play would resume at 7:15 Saturday morning. They hoped to begin the third round at 1 p.m. Forecast: cloudy skies.

Sheehan said the delays were "not a big deal" and Saturday she would "be out there feeling good."

PGA Tour:

Scott Verplank, former U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion who last won as a pro in 1988, methodically fashioned a second subpar round for a one-stroke lead over Larry Rinker at the halfway mark of the $900,000 Bank of Boston Classic.

Verplank, who posted a 67 in a downpour Thursday, added a bogey-free 68 in perfect weather for a 135 total, seven strokes under regulation at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass. Rinker, winless in 10 years on the PGA Tour, shot 65 to go with an opening 71.

Seniors:

Lee Trevino strung four consecutive birdies on the back nine to complete a six-under-par 65 worth a share of the first-round lead with Dave Hill in the $600,000 Kroger Senior Classic on a wet Grizzly course at the Jack Nicklaus Sports Center in Mason, Ohio.

Scottish Open:

Ian Woosnam of Wales shot four-under 67 at Gleneagles and gained a three-stroke lead with 201 for 54 holes.