We are expecting a prolonged unfavorable weather which began at Royal Portrush on Wednesday. The weather turned sour as winds picked up, temperatures dipped, and rain started to fall after four glorious days of sunshine and light breezes coming off the North Atlantic Sea. The forecast appears as dour as each day of the 148 th playing of the British Open.
Adam Scott, who set up camp in Portrush more than 10 days ago, is among the few of the 156 players in the field who had experienced similar harsh elements before Wednesday. On the other hand, he played 43 holes in calm conditions in his first three days and spent only an hour on the practice ground on Wednesday hitting balls and putting in light to heavy rain. Here are the featured groups to keep an eye on Thursday:
2:52 a.m.: Shane Lowry, Phil Mickelson and Branden Grace. After a fast and change in diet, Phil is 15-18 pounds lighter. However,he is carrying limited expectations as he seeks to turn his recent poor form around.
4:14 a.m.: Xander Schauffele, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell. Henrik is always a threat to win the Claret Jug. Xander has finished in the top 6 four of the last six majors. McDowell is a local favorite and possesses as much experience on Royal Portrush as any player in the field.
4:58 a.m.: Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau and Adam Scott. Molinari begins defense of his title alongside two serious threats to win the Claret Jug.
5:09 a.m.: Rory McIlroy, Gary Woodland and Paul Casey. Expectations will be a heavy burden for McIlroy to shoulder as Northern Ireland’s favorite son tries to win his second Claret Jug and fifth major. Woodland is the reigning U.S. Open champion and Casey one of the best ball-strikers in the game.
8:04 a.m.: Louis Oosthuizen, Brooks Koepka and Shubhankar Sharma. Four-time major champion Koepka is the world No. 1 who has gone 1-T39-1-T2-1-2 in his last six majors.
9:59 a.m.: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley. A trio of major champions is led by Johnson, the world No. 2 who has finished second twice in the last three majors.
10:10 a.m.: Matthew Wallace, Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed. Woods, who won the Claret Jug in 2000, 2005 and 2006, hasn’t hit a shot in competition since finishing in a tie for 21st in the U.S. Open more than a month ago.
10:21 a.m.: Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay and Matt Kuchar: They are ranked in the top 13 in the world golf rankings and among the top 15 favorites in the betting shops. They have won this year and are serious threats to win again.