Open shakes off rain; play underway

dHow wet does it get in Scotland? Well, if you’re the R&A, the answer is ‘It doesn’t matter, as long as we get the Open Championship underway quick smart!’

When the Asian Tour’s Anirban Lahiri tweeted his wonderment at the fears for the approaching bad weather expressed by so many during round one at St Andrews, he suggested they were over-reacting when he said: “I’m glad I played well today as everyone is talking like it’s going to be Armageddon from tomorrow.”

And then the heavens opened.

That didn’t fluster the R&A one little bit. Sandbags surrounded the media centre which is right down on the seafront, and the mission was clearly to keep things as dry as possible.

Naturally, they can’t do anything about the vast tracts of land which make up the Old Course. And while the rain fell overnight and the media centre stayed dry, the course became progressively more waterlogged.

So pity poor Jaco van Zyl, who was first off at 6:32am in the second round. He got his approach over a swollen Swilcan Burn to stick inside a foot from the flag when play was suspended at 6:46am.

And the heavens stayed open.

While it was still raining at 9am, the R&A confidently announced that play would resume at 10am. There were armies of squeegees out on the course, and TV commentator Ken Brown tip-toed onto the 18th with an Olympic-sized pool of water behind him in the ‘Valley of Sin’. A yellow rubber-duckie bobbed happily in it.

And, at 10am, Van Zyl dinked in his birdie putt on one, danced a little jib in front of the TV camera, and play was underway again.

And the sun even shone.

To be continued…


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