Low scoring was the order of the day at St Andrews on Thursday morning, but anyone matching Dustin Johnson’s 65 on Friday might just have their name on the Claret Jug.
The Met Office is reporting the likelihood of heavy downpours, and although they could dampen the course and make the ball easier to control, the accompanying 40mph winds will almost certainly negate that.
“I’ve heard stories of gusts of 40, that’s going to be very, very difficult and a very different golf course,” former world No 1 Luke Donald said after his opening round 68.
Friday’s later starters, who got the best of conditions on Thursday, could see that repeated, something that Lee Westwood feels is simply good (or bad) luck. He goes out in the afternoon on Friday but started his challenge with a disappointing 71.
“With the draw you can get carved up being on the wrong side of the draw, and you just hope that it’s fair to everybody, but very rarely is it,” Westwood said.
Ross Fisher, who also made it round in one-under 71, is not getting worked up about the forecasts, half expecting them to be wrong.
“It almost has it’s own weather forecast for this little area,” he said. “You get what you’re given.”
The last time the Open was held at St Andrews, when Louis Oosthuizen won in 2010, high winds forced a stoppage on day two while predicted heavy rains last year at Royal Liverpool forced the R&A into two-tee starts for Saturday’s third round.
But the worst day in recent memory came on the Saturday at Muirfield in 2002 when a raging storm moved in off the North Sea and caused havoc with players needing three woods at par-threes and umbrellas torn to shreds.
Tiger Woods, who was chasing the third leg of the calendar-year Grand Slam that year, shot 81, while Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie signed for an 84, the day after a 64.