The second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was hit by a deluge that swept through the Fife area, leaving competitors to battle torrid conditions as they raced to get finished while courses remained playable.
Romain Langasque's change in fortunes perhaps best summed up the Scottish weather. The Frenchman set a new course record on the Old Course on Thursday, firing a magnificent 11-under 61 to take an early two-shot lead, but plummeted down the leaderboard on Friday, carding a solitary birdie among a raft of bogeys as he limped to an 80 at Carnoustie that has him trailing by seven at the halfway mark.
Elsewhere, Eddie Pepperell offset four bogeys with a hole-in-one at Kingsbarns to finish at two-under, and told Sky Sports Golf's Tim Barter that he "couldn't believe people were under par for the day."
Another player who struggled to tame Kingsbarns was Tyrrell Hatton. The two-time Dunhill Championship winner could only manage a four-over 76 that has him level par after 36 holes, and he gave a very frank assessment of playing conditions.
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"Truly miserable, to be honest," Hatton told Barter. "I'm laughing but I'm internally crying I think. I just want a time machine to fast forward the next two-and-a-half hours to be back in the warm and dry."
Asked about the specific challenges, he added: "Everything. Trying to keep the clubs dry, the hands dry. The wind today is pretty consistent but trying to figure out how long shots are actually playing. I hit a 4-iron earlier that went 150 yards straight into the wind. I hit it nice and flighted it as well. It's just things like that that we're not used to doing on a daily basis."
Matt Wallace echoed those sentiments during a two-over 74, also at Kingsbarns. "It's just brutal," he said. "I've already had one umbrella, this is a new umbrella. I've changed jacket, I've just bought two more towels from the pro shop... it's brutal."
There were, however, some success stories. Among them Italian Open winner Robert MacIntyre posted an impressive 70 that has him well-placed on six-under heading into the weekend and back-to-back rounds on the Old Course.
"I was playing with Tyrrell who's a great friend and we just had a laugh," MacIntyre said. "I'm soaked through, I've got water in my shoes, I just had to laugh my way through."
But the round of the day belonged to Richard Mansell. The Englishman hit the front at 10-under thanks to a sublime 68 on the Old Course on Friday, which featured five birdies and just one dropped shot.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy had an up-and-down day, eventually signing for a 75 at Kingsbarns that has him trailing Mansell by nine shots.
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A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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