Sun shines on rain-hit Lytham at British Open

The rain relented and the sun finally shone on Royal Lytham

& St. Annes on Wednesday, boosting hopes of an uninterrupted

British Open.

However, there’s standing water in a half dozen of the 206

bunkers and some greens are softer than expected on the eve of the


Despite one of Britain’s worst summers, organizers said Lytham

”is in pretty good shape going forward,” especially with

forecasters predicting good weather over the weekend.

”The course is at the moment perfectly playable,” said Peter

Dawson, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient, ”thanks to the

huge and time-consuming efforts of the greenkeeping staff and the

additional greenkeeping staff we have brought in to help us.”

The use of preferred lies will only be introduced as a ”last

resort,” said Jim McArthur, chairman of the championship


Dawson downplayed concerns about the length of the rough on some

parts of the course, with Tiger Woods describing it as nearly

unplayable in certain areas.

”Certainly if you stray a long way off these fairways, the

rough is brutal, as it is on every links course in the British

Isles at the moment, with the summer weather, if you can call it

summer weather, that we’ve had,” he said.

”The champion on Sunday I doubt will have won from the rough. I

think he’ll be winning from the short grass, so there’s a premium

on hitting fairways this week, obviously.”