How the elements came into play during the second round
Contrasting weather conditions between the first and second rounds at Royal Troon played havoc with the scoring statistics at The 145th Open.
The starkest figure is the average score for the two rounds. In the first round the average was 72.026, while in the second it climbed by more than two strokes to 74.383.
Interestingly, scores on the outward half increased more than those on the inward half. This was primarily down to the fact that the wind had shifted direction overnight and was coming out of the south.
In the first round the front nine played to an average of 35.173, with the inward half playing to 36.871. In the second round, the averages were 37.240 and 37.143 respectively.
Most telling was the number of birdies and bogeys witnessed over the first two days. In relatively benign conditions in the first round there were 14 eagles and 491 birdies. Yesterday there was a solitary eagle – from Kiradech Aphibarnrat, at the par five 4th – and 335 birdies. In the first round, there almost that many birdies (332) on the front nine alone.
With late starters battling strong winds and heavy rain yesterday, the bogey count climbed considerably. In the first round there were 459 bogeys in total (168/291), while in the second round there were 593 (276/317). The figures reveal the effect the shift in wind direction had on the field.
Curiously, while there were 21 scores worse than a double bogey on the back nine in the first round, there were only 14 in the second. This could probably be explained by the fact that the wind was more in the players’ favour during the morning.
The wind can be seen to have had quite an effect on the players’ driving, where shouts of “fore” were not uncommon, particularly in the afternoon squalls. On the first day, driving distances recorded at two of the holes (the 6th and the 13th) averaged out at 276.3 yards. In the second round, they were down to 264.6.
Key figures, though, are those showing fairways hit and greens in regulation. There were 65% of fairways hit in round one and 57.6% in round two. The figures for greens in regulation mirrored those for fairways hit: 63% compared with 53%. Interestingly, the putting remained consistent, with the average coming out at 1.64 on both days.