Bill Elliott writes in this Open Golf Blog about this morning's torrential rain at St Andrews and an encounter with a BBC golf analyst
NO need for an alarm clock today. Shortly after dawn broke I broke too, woken by the mother of all storms, wind howling, sea crashing, rain pelting, me groaning. I loved it.
Anywhere else and play would have been all but impossible for many hours but the Old Course drains as though there is a giant plug somewhere and in a sense there is because beneath that springy turf lies at least 100 feet deep sand. Now that’s what I call a sand castle.
They won’t all finish today but many will although the later contestants seem likely to face nastier weather than at the moment. Saturday is due to deliver stronger winds while Sunday’s final round will be interrupted by rain and an occasional deluge of frogs.
The end of the world? No, just the climax to this wonderful 144th Open Championship.
As I write, Zach Johnson and Danny Willett are dancing around the top of the leaderboard. Johnson is, of course, a man who has won the Masters and kind of just hung around ever since.
But he believes he can win this Open because he has faith in his game on this sort of terrain and in this variable weather and anyway his other faith means he thinks God is on his side.
This may or may not be true but it helps to have faith in something in this contrary and often scary world. I don’t know whether Willett has religion but as he is the son of a Sheffield vicar I suppose it is at least probable.
Sticking with this religious theme more than a few afficionados of links golf thought Willett had some kind of a prayer at this Open.
He is one of the most improved players on the European Tour, has built real experience worldwide into his game over the last few years and is seriously ambitious.
He is also a twitcher. No, not a birdwatcher, a real twitcher, his arms, legs and head rarely still. He does most things at pace and then seems to happily talk to himself in between shots.
Look at Danny Willett’s swing sequence below
Brisk and determined he is by all accounts what we in the old trade call “a good lad” and so it is good to see him walking with the greats this week.
Walking around as well is my old sparring partner Ken Brown, now an accomplished analyst and commentator for BBC TV ( not a job with much of a future you would suspect ) but he is also now an author, his book, One Putt, published this week and in which he tells you how to be nearly as good a putter as he once was in Europe and then America.
I like Ken a lot and so when we chatted today I was delighted that he already has a second book in mind. “If this one does well then I’ve got the title sorted for the follow-up, “ he told me. “I plan to call if Fifty Shades of Brown.” I’d buy it.