Given the early forecast for this week’s AIG Women’s British Open, Inbee Park might want to triple-check her caddie’s math. Storm Ellen is predicted to bring strong winds and gales to Royal Troon on Thursday, with possible gusts up to 60 mph.
Park, winner of seven majors, including the 2015 British Open at Turnberry, doesn’t have her regular caddie on the bag this week at Royal Troon. Brad Beecher, who lives in Australia, will be back for next week’s Arkansas stop. Husband Gi Hyeob Nam is filling in, as he has done a few times recently in South Korea.
“He’s not a professional caddie,” said Park, “so sometimes he gives me wrong yardage. Sometimes when it rains, he can’t really do a lot of things at once. He makes mistakes, but he gives me a lot of comfortable feelings on the golf courses. And especially when I’m not swinging well or not stroking well, he can give me an advice straightaway at the golf course and fix it straightaway.”
That’s because Nam is also Park’s longtime instructor.
Park was asked how she reacts to her husband after a math error.
“I kind of teach him what to do because sometimes, like, he adds numbers when he has to subtract numbers,” she said, “so that sometimes gives me a 20-yard difference. Most of the time I kind of realize it. I think this looks a little bit less than that. He gives me a right number then.”
Rain is expected to roll in Thursday night. More strong winds and thunderstorms are possible for Friday, with the worst of it coming in the morning.
The forecast looks considerably better on the weekend.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, issued a memo to the players regarding the grim forecast. The goal, he said, is to complete 72 holes, but given the unique efforts required for COVID-19 safety protocols, extending the championship into Monday “is not practical.”
“We are aiming to maintain the cut after the second round at 65 players,” he wrote, “and those tied for 65th place, but we may need to reduce the size of field further, especially if we lose a significant amount of playing time on Thursday/Friday.”
Slumbers went on to address pace of play, noting that officials will be thoughtful in course setup but that players carry the responsibility too.
“We have an opportunity to set an example throughout the week,” Slumbers told players, “irrespective of disruptive weather.”