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Howling Wind and Driving Rain? Must Be the British Open

July 21st, 2017 · No Comments · Golf

I worked with several Scots while in Abu Dhabi. One day I asked one of them why Scotland is so bad in cricket. He looked at me like I should already have known the answer.

“Because we never get enough good weather to finish a match,” he said.

The best golfers in the world got to experience some of that brusque British weather today, and they weren’t even in Scotland.

About two years of every five, the British Open is played in England, and this is one of those years. The golfers are playing near the coast of the Irish Sea in Southport, a bit north of Liverpool, and the poor golfers got heaping helpings of Scottish weather without actually visiting the north end of the island.

Which actually is a big part of making the British Open interesting. Golfers can be nearly sure of at least one day of awful weather which separates the men from the boys … or the Brits from everyone else or the luckiest from the best.

In this case, Justin Spieth survived pouring rain and wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour at Royal Birkdale to hold a two-shot lead over fellow American Matt Kuchar.

It was the sort of weather that would keep an Angelino indoors. Actually, it might have kept a lot of people in “sunny” London indoors, too.

Said Charl Schwarzel: “I’ve always found it very difficult in these conditions. I said to my caddie, as much as you want to challenge yourself, really it’s just luck. You’re hitting these shots, and the ball is just going wherever.”

“Yesterday, with a little bit of a breeze, you can really play golf and move the ball. The way it was out there, it’s not much fun.”

This was the weather report ahead of today’s second round:

“The weather will once again create challenging conditions for players at the Open Championship in England.

“After largely dry weather dominated the start of the 2017 Open Championship on Thursday, rainy spells and strong winds will make for a dreary day on Friday for those at Royal Birkdale in Southport.

“‘The rain will remain rather light through the early afternoon, which typically makes it easier to putt on the greens’,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said. ‘However, there will be so much wind on Friday that it will probably cancel out any benefit the players receive from the softening of the course.’

“Sustained winds of 15-25 mph are expected with gusts as high as 40 mph. Spectators will have trouble holding onto brollies.”

Uh-oh! Having the wind yank a brolly out of your hand … that’s rough, even for Scotland/England.

(A brolly is “informal” for an umbrella, for you Yanks.)

Anyway, it was ugly, verging on wild out there, which is what you expect from the British Open and bad weather is what separates it from the other three majors — all held in the U.S.

Said Kuchar, who teed off early and missed the worst of the weather: “I think that’s what people enjoy about the British Open is watching the hard wind, the rain, the guys just trying to survive out there.

“Today is my day. I get to kick back in the afternoon and watch the guys just try to survive.”



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