Birkdale conditions set to worsen as players struggle

Published 18/07/2008 12:33:41

Conditions on Birkdale are set to worsen, and could even result in the suspension of play, on the third day of the Open championship. Organisers are readying themselves for gale force winds after a day in which the course could surely be declared the victor.


Two former major winners have already walked off the course; Sandy Lyle and Rich Bleem both couldn't finish their first round. Just three players of the 156 in the field posted scores under par with what many are deeming unplayable conditions.


“They are trying to embarrass people. This is the worst set-up I have ever seen. Use some common sense - they didn’t.” - Jerry Kelly, USA


The sheer ferocity of the winds has caught organisers by surprise in what is supposed to be the height of summer. R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said "If the wind is as colossal as forecast, you have to wonder whether there will be play at all. It is not a safety issue but a matter of judging whether the balls are staying still on the greens. That’s the only thing of concern.”


"Now I know why Kenny stayed home, he'll probably win in Milwaukee and be the smartest guy on the planet." - American Pat Perez referring to current US tour form player Kenny Perry.


In light of mass criticism of the course, Dawson said “It’s been a tough day by the seaside. A lot of players have been frustrated and a lot of players are not used to these conditions. But there is nothing wrong with the course."


"I don't think I ever played a par-four that I couldn't reach with my best drive and three-wood, and there were three of them." - Simon Dyson, England.


A day of high scoring has already seen former major winners Ernie Els and Vijay Singh all but blown out of contention. However with such high scores being posted, no-one is really out of this competition yet. Well, apart from Sandy Lyle and Rich Bleem!



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