LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England — The most valuable slip of paper found at The Open Championship is not a list of the odds. It’s the forecast.
Neither of them can be trusted.
Pot bunkers that are staggered down the fairway and surround the green were all the talk Tuesday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and no doubt they will play a critical role in deciding who has his name engraved on the claret jug. Because of a wet spring — really wet — the native grass covering the dunes and hillocks is so thick and deep that any ball going that far off line could be lost forever.
No matter which links course golf’s oldest championship is played on, however, weather is as significant as a burn, a bunker or even an out-of-bounds stake. This is the only major remaining with a full field that does not send half the players off on the first tee and the other half on the 10th tee. Barry Lane will get the Open started at 6:19 a.m. Thursday. Ashley Hall will be the last to tee off at 4:11 p.m.