Jeff Overton of the United States, on the 14th fairway. (Peter Morrison / AP)

Forecasts call for gusts of up to 30 mph are forecast for the first two rounds and the par-5 No. 7 and the short, 243-yard No. 11 are prime candidates, according to Peter Dawson, chief executive officer of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

“We do have some wind issues out there which may, dependent on wind direction, make some of the very back tees difficult to reach fairways from, so we have told the players that we may move some tees up, depending on wind conditions.”

No one expects it to be as bad as it was in 2003 at Sandwich, when players were saying that the rough was much too thick and only Ben Curtis finished under par — and he was just 1-under. The formerly estimable Tiger Woods finished in a tie for fourth at 1-over par.

“We've always said we take what nature gives us, but fortunately we've had some rain ... which has been sufficient to rejuvenate the golf course and the amount of rough we have out there is pretty close to what we would like,” Dawson said. “It's not as thick as it might have been but it's good playing conditions. We're happy with it.”


The favorite?: Well, it has to be Rory McIlroy

Rory’s roots: A visit to Holywood

Tee times: McIlroy starts (in a group with Rickie Fowler and Ernie Els) at 4:09 a.m. EDT

Facts, figures: The Open in brief