HOYLAKE, England (AP) — The British Open once again lived up to its fickle, unpredictable weather reputation, and doesn't half the field at Royal Liverpool know it.
Ideal weather greeted morning groups Thursday, but the wind picked up in the afternoon. On Friday, those same afternoon golfers got the worst of gusty morning conditions.
By midday Friday, the wind died down, creating similar conditions for the same lucky golfers who benefited from good scoring opportunities Thursday morning.
That left George Coetzee, who shot 69 Friday, as the only player among the leaders who drew the unlucky Thursday afternoon-Friday morning double.
Those guys shouldn't despair: Padraig Harrington experienced battering wind and rain during his first round at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and shot 74. Three days later, he won his second British Open.
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer shrugged his shoulders when asked Friday about his unlucky draw over the first two rounds — a 1:38 p.m. start with gusting winds Thursday and even worse conditions Friday when he began play at 8:37 a.m.
"I can't take care of the weather," Kaymer said. "I just take it the way it is. That is what The Open is about."
Darren Clarke, the 2011 champion at Royal St. George's, was on the lucky side of the draw. He agreed with Kaymer.
"You get good sides, and I've been at enough Open Championships where I've had the bad side of it as well," Clarke said. "They all even out."
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