OPEN fans and golfers battled a downpour at Royal Portrush as wind and “heavy” rain rolled in for the rest of the week.
The umbrella of one die-hard supporter was blown inside out on a rough final day of practice in Northern Ireland, where the downpour was sideways at times.
And the bad news is that the forecast suggests the grey skies and drizzle won’t get blown off course until play concludes on Sunday evening.
Rory McIlroy, favourite to win, wore a special rain glove during practice and donned a thick Stone Island coat complete with hood to fend off the rain.
American Rickie Fowler looked less than impressed with the gloomy conditions.
English amateur star Curtis Knipes was seen struggling to put on his waterproof gear during a rain-soaked session on the course.
And players and fans will be drying off their clothes frantically tonight with the rest of the week set to stay the same.
Tomorrow shows a 70 per cent chance of rain on the course throughout the day, with short-lived bursts of heavy rain (0-5mm) set to come crashing down.
There will also be gusts of up to 25mph in the late morning, the only consolation being the wind could move the rain along.
The maximum temperature will be a cool 17 degrees Celsius.
Friday brings a continued chance of showers with more threat of the heavy stuff during the afternoon and evening.
Latest Open news
That could spell disaster for McIlroy, 30, who tees off at 10.09am Thursday morning and then later on Friday afternoon. He could get the worst of the conditions.
The good news is that the fine weather seen earlier this week on the coast will hopefully return for the weekend.
Temperatures will increase to up to 20C but the forecast is for the weather to be “changeable” with showers still possible.