Archive for Saturday, July 20, 2002

Cold, driving rain and stiff winds send scores soaring at British Open

July 20, 2002

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— Cold, driving rain and stiff wind coming in off Scotland's Firth of Forth sent scores soaring in Saturday's third round of the British Open.

Just minutes before Tiger Woods began his round at Muirfield, the rain started to lash down, causing havoc primarily for the last seven groups to begin play - meaning the leaders after the second round.

"Conditions are quite appalling," said Tony Adamson, the veteran golf commentator for the BBC as he was being soaked on the course. "To heck with the Open championship. Let's get back to the clubhouse."

Woods, 4-under after two rounds and two strokes off the lead, took a beating in his quest to win golf's Grand Slam - all four majors in one season.

Obviously rattled by the "typical links golf" weather, Woods drove into the knee-high rough on the first hole and took a bogey. And it got worse from there as he carded a 6-over 42 on the front nine - including a double bogey 7 at No. 5.

Playing partner and Florida neighbor Mark O'Meara took a 40 as the rain stopped as the two made the turn.

Another American Duffy Waldorf, 6-under after two rounds with a share of the five-way lead, bogeyed the first four holes - and double bogeyed the fifth and sixth. That's eight shots dropped in six holes.

Japanese Shigeki Maruyama, another of the co-leaders after the second round, dropped four shots over the first five holes - also taking a double bogey 7 on No. 5.

A few players managed to hold it together.

Former Open champion Nick Price, two off the lead when the day began, moved into a brief share of the lead at 4-under after nine holes with a 5-foot (1.5 meter) putt for an eagle 3 on No. 9 for an even-par 36.

The conditions have changed daily at the 131st Open with clear, warm weather on Thursday, rain but still conditions on Friday and gales on Saturday. Bright, dry weather was forecast for Sunday.

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