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British Open often comes down to luck of the draw

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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – More so than any other event in golf the outcome of a British Open often comes down to the schedule as much as it does skill.

There is no shortage of woeful examples to support this claim, with Tiger Woods’ Saturday 81 at Muirfield in 2002 the quintessential bad draw; but the three-time Open champion is hardly the only player waylaid by bad weather.

Two years ago at St. Andrews, Geoff Ogilvy was setting out for his afternoon tee time just as Rory McIlroy was putting the finishing touches on an opening 63 in ideal scoring conditions.

“I’m passing him, he’s on No. 16 and I’m on No. 2 and right after that it starts blowing. I play pretty good and shoot 72 but I’m like 108th,” Ogilvy said. “I didn’t feel like I had any chance from where I was at.”

The draw can drastically impact play at the game’s oldest major but Ogilvy is quick to point out there are high-profile exceptions to the rule, like in 2008 at Royal Birkdale when he headed out early into the worst of a first-round storm and struggled to a 77 on his way to a missed weekend.

“The first six hours of the day were completely unplayable, blowing 50 (mph) and raining. It didn’t stop raining until about a half hour after I finished my 18th hole. That was brutal,” Ogilvy said. “I don’t think anyone within an hour of my tee time either way made the cut except for one guy and that was (Padraig) Harrington and he won. So that’s my asterisks.”