Rain, wind await players for Round 3 of Open
Saturday, July 16, 2011
SANDWICH, England - Prepare for a proper day at the Open Championship. Bad weather will bring out the best of links golf Saturday at Royal St. George’s. The Open’s tight leaderboard should only add to the intrigue.
Saturday’s early starters were greeted by rain and swirling winds. In a cruel twist, the worst weather is expected for those players in the back of the pack. The forecast is expected to ease for the final game, which tees off at 3:05 p.m. local time.
The heavy rain and high winds are supposed to last between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time. Players will have to deal with winds of about 25-30 mph for much of the day, with gusts up to 40 mph between noon and 2 p.m.
"If you've got any quit in you, it's going to be a long day," Bo Van Pelt said after his 73. "All fundamentals are out the window. You just have to have fun with it."
Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open Championship winner, said after his 81, "It was brutal. 76 or 77 is a good score." He described recreational players on the adjacent Prince's Golf Club as "mad, absolutely mad" for playing in Saturday's conditions.
The rain is expected to subside about 4 p.m., while the wind will ease to about 15-20 mph in the late afternoon.
Lucas Glover and Darren Clarke, the co-leaders at 4-under 136, are scheduled to tee off in the final game at 3:05 p.m. local time. Thirty-one players started the second round at par or better.
“Four shots in 36 holes on this golf course in these conditions is nothing. It really isn't,” said Rory McIlroy, who's at even-par 140 through two rounds.
With the cut coming at 3-over par, no player at Royal St. George’s is more than seven shots off the lead.
It should make for good viewing. Playing in it may be another story.