For only the second time in its 144-year history, the Open Championship continues into Monday after monster thunderstorms and howling gales ripped through St Andrews’ Old Course, causing consternation among the planet’s elite golfers.
World number two Jordan Spieth, winner of the first two Majors of 2015 and bang in the hunt for a third at 11-under in Scotland, was picked up by the TV microphones insisting “we should never have started” during Saturday morning’s second-round spillover.
45 mile-per-hour winds saw balls blown off greens before their owners could mark them; Brooks Koepka, a former Challenge Tour winner two-and-a-half hours up the road in Aviemore, risked the wrath of the rule book by refusing to putt on the super-exposed 11th.
Of course, not everybody is complaining, with a couple of past holders of the Claret Jug winding through the wind and the rain to once again stake a claim.
Louis Oosthuizen shares the lead with Irish amateur Paul Dunne and consistent Australian Jason Day at 12-under going into the last round, yet despite the South African emerging victorious the last time the Open was held at St Andrews, he gets the same 7/2 quote as the latter, with Spieth 5/2 favourite.
Day may have five top-10 finishes in his last nine Major appearances, but Oosthuizen clearly rises to the big occasion as well, managing to make the top 40 in each of his past six such starts and sharing second at last month’s US Open.
However, two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington’s 20/1 quote is surely the most eye-catching after the 43-year-old Irishman’s fantastic 65 on Sunday.
Having lost his PGA Tour card last year following a couple of seasons off form, Harrington got back among the big boys by winning the Honda Classic in Florida four-and-half-months ago, incidentally through a Monday morning playoff.
The weather on the east coast of Fife isn’t expected to be quite as wild as it was over the weekend, but with showers expected and some wind forecast, the man who handles any conditions must be worth a bet.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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