During practice rounds at Royal Troon, players posted photos of golf in sunny, calm, un-Scotland-like weather as they prepared for the 2020 AIG Women’s Open Championship. But the realities of Scottish golf set in during Thursday’s first round. A storm, named Ellen, is reported to hit the West Coast of Scotland (where Royal Troon is located), and then move across the country into central Scotland. Warnings for high winds have been issued, saying gusts as high as 70 mph are possible, and there are also flood warnings in parts of Scotland. So, basically, perfect golf weather, right?
Early scores in the first round showed just how brutal the wind is. At the writing of this post, only two players were under par, both at 1-under. Nelly Korda finished with a 1-over 72, a number that usually wouldn’t get you very far in an LPGA Tour event. But considering the weather, Korda is right in the thick of things, and will be if the conditions continue to be difficult through the afternoon wave.
“I had never played in that type of wind the first couple of holes. It’s definitely calmed down a little. But I had a tough time walking the first three holes,” Korda said.
The wind is so strong today, just ask @NellyKorda…
— AIG Women’s Open (@AIGWomensOpen) August 20, 2020
187 yards! Nelly Korda’s one of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour, and routinely hit some of her drives over 300 yards on the inward nine, but into the wind on the first couple holes, it was quite the task hitting into the wind.
Golf in Scotland is expected to be tough, but if it’s hard to stay upright, this sounds like a different level of difficulty. Korda said it was a struggle to maintain her usual tempo in the gusts.
“They say, ‘When it’s breezy, swing easy,’ but you also have to get it to the hole,” Korda said. She also noted her height, 5’10”, as being another variable to cope with in the wind. “I’m tall, so the wind sways me around a bit more.”
Though the wind was hard, at least the sun was out on Thursday morning. That doesn’t look like the case on Friday, when rain is predicted along with that testy wind.