As expected, high winds and heavy rain have battered Royal St. George’s, along with fans, players and the several members of the media. Not surprisingly, the few players who have finished shot over par.
Gary Woodland was off to a fantastic start, but conditions worsened as his round progressed. Woodland was playing some mighty impressive golf until he reached the 14th, where the cross wind was so strong that he aimed roughly 50 yards left of the fairway, but a bad swing put him out of bounds. Woodland tripled the hole, but the 14th is playing brutally difficult. Expect more than a few blow-ups.
Despite the snowman, he recovered nicely with a birdie on 15 and shot 74, the low score so far.
“That was some of the best golf I’ve seen…it was impressive,” said Ryan Moore on Woodland’s front nine.
Asked to describe the day, Moore said, “Brutal. It was absolutely brutal. It was just one of those days where you were just trying not to make double bogey.”
Tom Watson, who thrives in tough conditions, is about to best Woodland’s 74. Watson is one-over through 17, which in these conditions, is maybe equivalent to at least four-or-five under. Let’s just put it this way: 71 is damn good.
The average score so far is roughly 77 today.
The leaders are getting ready to tee off. Remember the conditions when Lucas Glover, who shares the top of the leaderboard with Darren Clarke, won his major? The US Open at Bethpage in ’09, where it rained so hard that it looked like we were at Woodstock rather than a golf tournament.
Well, I’m off to brave the weather and talk to the crazy fans who are still out there. I already spoke with several who were headed for the exits. As you can imagine, they were soaked and thrilled to talk with me. More to come.
I’ll be live-blogging over at WSJ.com again. Please come say hi (and leave nice comments so my editor thinks I’m doing a good job! — hope he doesn’t read this!). And of course, feel free to drop your predictions and thoughts below!
*Update: Bo Van Pelt came in with a 73 while I was typing this post. Tom Watson just putted out to shoot 72. Well done, sir, well done.
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)