Predicting the weather, as everyone knows, is an imperfect science, which is a nice way of saying forecasters get it wrong plenty often.
They’re pretty good when it comes to predicting it’s going to be hot in Phoenix in July and it’s going to be cold in International Falls in January. Otherwise, you take your chances guessing what the weather will be just about anywhere on a given day.
It becomes even more uncertain here in Scotland where the seasons often change hourly. It can go from summer to winter before you can down a pint and be back to a nice spring day in a couple of hours.
The reason this matters is the forecast for this Open Championship is intriguing. It’s going to be nice a good bit of the time, if you like your temperatures in the low 60s, with mostly cloudy skies and a fair breeze but nothing to blow your cap off.
That’s fine. It’s the Open Championship and it’s not the same thing without some weather. Just not too much.
Tiger Woods knows. He was in position to win the third leg of the Grand Slam in 2002 when he caught the razor’s edge of a mini-hurricane that blew through Muirfield on a Saturday afternoon. He shot 81, which wasn’t that bad considering the conditions, and the Grand Slam was blown away in the process.
The tricky part this week is Friday. There’s a forecast for heavy rain overnight Thursday into Friday and when that clears out, about the time the afternoon players go out for the second round, the wind is expected to gust upward of 30 mph or twice what it’s expected to blow in the morning. If you’re wondering, Jordan Spieth is playing Friday afternoon.
Several years ago, Sergio García griped that even the weather cooperated for Woods, who caught the good weather side of a draw in one of his U.S. Open victories. Tiger was good but not that good, though Sergio had been wind-blown and rain-soaked that week.
Five years ago at the Old Course, Rory McIlroy went 63-80 when he played in a Friday windstorm.
Rory’s hurt this year and not playing. That’s a disappointment for everyone but there may be a silver lining. Depends on what the weather does.