ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Weather or Not –There’s Open weather and then there is Open WEATHER. Play got underway on Friday on schedule but the players didn’t get very far. After 15 minutes, heavy rains flooded the course, forcing suspension of play. In the next two hours nearly an inch of rain left standing water throughout the course. After another two hours of maintenance play resumed.
The last time the Open was contested at St. Andrews in 2010 gale force winds brought the field in off the course. Players who marked their balls on the greens at the peak of the wind conditions could not get them to stay in place. Play did resume later.
17 and a Half – The par four 17th at St. Andrews is always one of the most difficult holes in professional golf in years when the Old Course hosts the Open Championship. For Thursday’s opening round it didn’t disappoint. The 495 yard hole playing into the wind averaged 4.833, nearly a stroke over par. There were no birdies on the day but a record was set. 1989 Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia recorded a nine, only the fourth time that a “quint” has been recorded (Scott Hoch, 1990 Zach Johnson and K.J. Choi 2005). Calcavecchia birdied 18 for an 80.
Turn the Page – With all the attention paid to Tom Watson’s last Open appearance, two-time Open champion Nick Faldo unofficially made this his last time around. Wearing the sweater he wore at his first Open win at Muirfield in 1987, Faldo shot one under 71 but still missed the cut.
Ironically the lengthy weather delay may have saved even that final round. Dealing with a cut on the middle finger on his right hand, Faldo was in the hospital early Friday morning and without the extra time afforded because of the rain delay he might have missed his final tee time.
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