All the elements present for this British Open

By Doug FergusonJuly 14, 2010, 9:50 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The locals are famous for saying that if it’s “nae rain and nae wind then it’s nae golf.”

There was rain. And there was wind.

There just wasn’t much golf being played Wednesday on the eve of the British Open.

Kenny Perry wanted to play one more practice round, and the miserable weather wasn’t about to stop him. It just made him think about how long he really wanted to be in the kind of elements St. Andrews hasn’t seen in 15 years for the British Open.

Three holes after he teed off, with raindrops on his glasses and water dripping off a black rainsuit that had turned slick and shiny, he cut across the Old Course to play two holes back toward the clubhouse. As he stepped onto the 17th tee, Perry noticed a man grinning at him from beneath an umbrella.

St. Andrews Logo
Cold, wet, and windy conditions have greeted the players at St. Andrews. (Getty Images)
“Are you enjoying our weather?” the man said in his thick brogue.

“What’s there to enjoy?” Perry replied.

Worse yet was leaving the 17th tee with Nick Watney, rain pelting them sideways and the sound of laughter above them. There was Ian Poulter, dressed in shorts and a shirt, taking pictures of them from the comfort of his third-floor room in the Old Course Hotel.

“Having fun down there, boys?” Poulter called out to them.

The fun doesn’t begin until Thursday, when the 139th version of golf’s oldest championship gets under way at St. Andrews, with weather that likely will as much of a factor as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or any of the players.

And it’s about time.

The last time the Open came to St. Andrews, there was only one round of a stiff breeze and Woods won by five shots at 14-under 274. Ten years ago on a sun-baked links, Woods set a major championship record at 19-under 269 for an eight-shot win in perfect weather. But there was nasty weather in 1995, when John Daly finished at 6-under 282 and won a playoff.

The Royal and Ancient, which runs this tournament, doesn’t get wrapped up in scores. It lets nature decide that.

“The forecast for the championship is changeable – blustery, showery conditions,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson, barely able to contain a grin. “Pretty good for links golf.”

This is what Woods will face as he tries to make more history at the home of golf. No one has ever won the Open three times at St. Andrews, and this stage could be an important test for golf’s No. 1 player.

Woods has never gone this far into the calendar without winning. He has never gone more than seven tournaments to start a season without a victory, and the Open marks his seventh event. His preparations included playing Sunday in gusts that approached 50 mph, and the next two days in wind out of different directions.

He also endured a press conference in which about half of the questions were about his personal life. Among his chief critics has been Watson, who has said that Woods needs to “clean up his act.”

Given a chance to elaborate Wednesday, the five-time Open champion declined.

“I said what I needed to say about Tiger Woods,” Watson said. “The one thing that you should be writing about Tiger Woods right now is that he’s won the championship the last two times he’s played here, and that he’s probably the odds-on favorite to win it again.”

The challenge figures to be much greater, a result of Woods’ unpredictable form, the growing number of contenders – especially a European resurgence led by U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood – and the weather.

Defending champion Stewart Cink played eight holes Wednesday on what felt like two courses.

“The opening nine, you’re headed straight downwind with a little off to the right, and it’s like a dream,” he said. Every shot you hit, no matter how bad you hit it, it’s a nice draw. We played four holes and decided to turn around, and as soon as we hit 14 tee box, it was the exact opposite. You couldn’t do anything except his a huge slice. It’s hard to describe how difficult it is.”

The only disappointment Wednesday was the hard rain and cold wind leading the R&A to cancel its “Champions Challenge,” a four-hole exhibition with past Open champions like Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Ben Curtis.

“I was on the range this morning and it’s just brutal out there,” Nick Faldo said. “It wouldn’t have been entertaining for anybody.”

It wasn’t much fun for the marshals or the fans, wrapped in rain gear, walking back from the loop on the far end of the links toward the clubhouse as they searched for players, realizing most of them were doubling back after a couple of holes.

There wasn’t much to gain on a day like this.

“Obviously, we’ve had beautiful weather for two days,” Cink said. “And today, we have a wreck out there. And there’s not many golfers at all. But it’s a fair test.”

The forecast? There could be rain, there might be spells of sunshine, there likely will be wind – that could be last four days or four hours around these parts.

Rose is the freshest face of the English revival, having won two of his last three tournaments in America. He knows these links well, even though he didn’t qualify for the Open in 2000 or 2005. Rose already had in his mind the ideal day, which featured wind.

“It would be nice and sunny, 20 mph breeze across the golf course. I think that would have tested everybody but made it very, very enjoyable,” Rose said. “If we get a little bit of that, it would be nice. And if we get a little bit of the extreme stuff, then so be it. That’s definitely part of the Open Championship.”

 

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

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Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

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Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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