July 17, 2019 / 9:46 AM / 4 months ago

Rain sweeps in on final Open practice day at Portrush

Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 17, 2019 Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during practice REUTERS/Ian Walton

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - The final day of practice before the British Open Championship at Royal Portrush was hit by steady rain on Wednesday, and forecasts are for showers on the first two days of competition.

Strong sea breezes combined with the showers, ensuring the players got a taste of what they may come up against when play gets underway on Thursday.

The conditions did not keep a huge crowd from turning out to watch the world’s top golfers get in their final preparations before the 148th British Open begins. Local favourite Darren Clarke is due to hit the first tee shot at 6.35 a.m.

The Met Office weather forecast for the opening round expects “passing showers throughout the day” with some short bursts of heavy rain. Winds of 20 to 22 miles per hour are forecast in late morning.

Friday sees a continued chance of rain, although the forecast is for “mainly dry” weather, particularly at the start of the day.

The weather is forecast to brighten at the weekend with temperatures rising, although it is expected to remain changeable.

Reporting by Simon Evans

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