ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — One of the many traditions of the Open Championship is the changing of the weather conditions. While they were rather benign on Thursday’s first round, wind and rain greeted the players on Friday morning and caused a delay.
“The course was unplayable. The R&A did what they needed to do and what they were supposed to do which was tremendous. I’d also tip my cap to the maintenance crew because it was a lake on 1 and 18. They did a great job,” said Zack Johnson of the conditions.
Weather and all, it looks as if six of the nine amateurs in the field will make the cut and play the weekend.
Amateur Paul Dunne didn’t let the weather affect his play as he had a workman-like front nine on the way to his second consecutive 3-under 69. With pars on his first 8 holes, he matched yesterday’s birdie on No. 9 to go to 4-under for the tournament.
He didn’t drop a shot until a bogey on No. 16, which followed consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 & 15. A birdie on the final hole got him back to 3-under for the round and 6-under overall for the tournament.
Yesterday’s low amateur, Jordan Niebrugge, found today’s conditions less to his liking. After a bogey on No. 2, Niebrugge birdied the third and fifth holes, but had a double bogey 6 in between on the fourth hole and finished the front nine at 1-over. On the back nine, Niebrugge bogeyed the 10th hole and evened that out with a birdie on 14 to post a 1-over 73 for the round.
Other amateurs in the hunt include France’s Romain Langasque, who had a birdie on the 5th hole and pars the rest of the round through 13 holes (story was posted at this time). Oliver Schniederjans and Ashley Chesters look safe to make the cut after each posted even-par 72. The only amateur in question at the time of this writing is 21-year old Paul Kinnear, who shot a 2-under 70 yesterday, but has dropped back to even with two bogeys on the front side through 8 holes.
Weather will certainly be a factor for the weekend, as it always is, but if these amateurs can master that, they have a legitimate shot at the Claret Jug.