Saturday, July 21, 2012

Change at the British Open

Of the four golf majors, the British Open is most infamous for bad weather.  This year, however, the weather has been benign, and that continues today at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club.  Nevertheless, change is coming and the golfers will be facing dramatically different conditions tomorrow.

Royal Lytham and St. Annes is located on the eastern shore of the Irish Sea, just north of Liverpool (see A thumbtack below).

As shown by the GFS analysis for 0600 UTC this morning, high pressure is firmly in control today, as was the case for the first two rounds.

However, a strong surface cyclone will be tracking toward Iceland tomorrow, and southwesterly flow will be on the increase in the British Isles tomorrow.  The GFS forecast for 1200 UTC puts Royal Lytham and St. Annes ahead of an approaching cold front, but in strong southerly flow.

Winds will be increasing during the day and by noon will likely be gusting to near 30 miles per hour.  Those hoping to wind the Claret Jug are going to need to adapt to dramatically different conditions  (Adam Scott presently is up 3 strokes, but no lead will be safe tomorrow).  Unlike the first 3 rounds, it will be absolutely essential to keep the ball low and on the ground.  Those who can make that adjustment will minimize damage, which is probably going to be the key to winning tomorrow.

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