It has been an unusually easy scoring Thursday at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
The best defense that a links course has for scoring is not the tall rough or the pot bunkers, but the wind. That freshening wind was on vacation for the golfers for the most part. With the lush conditions and greens that were receptive, there were plenty of birdies to be had—especially on the front side.
A general rule of thumb to try and guess what the winning score should be is to take the leading score after day one then halve it. With Adam Scott’s opening 64 or six-under, we can estimate that the winning score Sunday should be in the eight-under range.
If a player is not at or under par by the end of the day, it will be very hard to seriously challenge as even par is at worst six shots behind.
There are not many surprises on the front page of the leaderboard and assuming that all of them will fall back is just not happening.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses of the top players that are still in contention at the Open Championship.
The wind will come and, as the weekend moves on, the course will dry out a bit. Scoring really will become a premium.