To be honest, its been very quiet. So said Bumus, my new best friend and vendor of ice creams round the back of the 9th green. The poor man looked deeply disappointed with life, or more particularly the Liverpool climate. Lashing rain and 45mph winds do not constitute summer in Poland apparently.
The gales might be sending scores soaring but they are certainly sending ice-cream sales tumbling, which is rather unfair if you happen to be in the trade. Bumus told me rather forlornly that he hadnt sold anything for over 30 minutes and he was getting just a little bored. He cheered up a little when I asked for a double choc Magnum I am just that sort of guy you see.
In keeping with this theme, I thought I would find out how those people who help make the Championship happen are coping with the extreme weather. Katherine and Will are two seriously long-suffering off-course marshals. Well I got sun stroke on Wednesday, forgot my wet-weather trousers on Thursday and caught a cold and now I feel like an artic warrior, said Katherine, somehow with a smile. Will was rather happy with their new position though, just to the side of the 15th fairway, manning a walkway because; you get to sit down here! I would have taken my hat off to them both if I didnt fear it blowing away.
Alan and Margaret meanwhile were far too hardy for seats with Alan declaring that this was true links weather. A statement befitting the current captain of Eastern Lodge Golf Club. The pair have been marshalling Open Championships for 15 years and seemed like the only people truly relishing the gusting gales. Its all about layers Margaret told me, looking rather disapprovingly at my jumper and t-shirt combo. She had a good point.
So pleasantly surprised to find the true heroes of the Championship reassuringly optimistic I had a quick check on how the conditions were affecting the players. First stop of course had to be Monty. It proved a brief stop actually because as I arrived on the 16th tee the wind took his gentle fade and sent it soaring into knee-high bund. His response was suitably unpublishable and after yesterdays trauma I thought I would move on.
As Mr OHagan insightfully pointed out in an earlier posting, putting in this wind is a real challenge. Having witnessed four three-putts out of the first six groups I saw on 17 I can concur.
The other thing that makes golf so wonderful and yet so difficult here are the towering dunes. As I wandered down the 10th with John Rollins and Doug Labelle II of the USA each hump was met with a massive gust of wind, enough to immediately cause us all to hunch down and of course hold on to our caps. What this kind of topography does to the ball became clear very quickly with Rollins seeing his hack out of the rough almost travel backwards as it climbed above the dunes.
Backwards shots, now ever Tiger cant do that