British Open 2011: Will Royal St. George Be an Easy Test for the Pros?

Recent Rain has Softened Up the Greens for the 2011 British Open

If you've ever watched a British Open you are probably acutely aware of the fact that the difficulties of the course can change dramatically with the weather. The wind can wreak havoc on players. It can alter the shots they hit and they can dry out the greens and make them lightning fast.

Leading up to the 2011 British Open it did not appear that the greens at Royal St George's were going to need any help. Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the R&A on the subject:

There was no rain here between February and May, virtually not a drop. The rain has come back to average level and the course has greened up — we are pleased with it.

The changes that we have made have helped at 1 and 18, which were unpopular tee shots last time. The greens are just lovely. All credit to green staff. The rough is patchy — it is not huge. I am hoping for not too much hacking out, but it will be a factor in distance control.

The results are that wind allowing the course could set up nicely for scoring. Camilo Villegas:

I have to say the golf course is, um, nice. I like it. But I only played 12 holes. And the wind wasn’t blowing.  ...There are some tough holes out though.

Ah, the dreaded wind. Rickie Fowler knows it could totally change the fate of this open. Rickie Fowler:

I heard they say it might switch around over the north at some point. If it’s not blowing very much, you can definitely make birdies on a few holes out here.

Dawson knows first hand what that wind will do to the course. Dawson:

The last two days before had really been quite windy. If we get wind like that, 70 is a stunning score. There was horrendous wind. The pros would have been hitting 2-irons for sure.

So, we'll roll into this Open like almost all of them. Depending on the wind the winning score could be anywhere from 20-under to 5-over.

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TAGS: 2011 British Open, , golf