The Open 2015: 'Is it raining? I hadn't noticed'

    St. Andrews, Scotland (CNN)If St. Andrews showed its benign side on Thursday, it unleashed hell on Friday.

    It wasn't quite the "Armageddon" some players had predicted, but it wasn't pretty. This was the sort of weather that could even intimidate ducks.
    Less than 15 minutes of play were possible before players were hauled off the course at 6.46 a.m., with rain lashing down and the wind, as they are fond of saying in Scotland, blowing a "hoolie."
      The Old Course's famous burns swelled, its dips and swales became rivers and lakes and every man with a pair of hands to spare was dispatched to tackle the flood with a squeegee mop.
      Spectators, understandably, were scarce -- a few hardy souls huddled under umbrellas in the grandstand by the first tee looking like they were waiting for the end of the world to arrive.
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      With no golf to enjoy, punters filtered into a myriad of tents; hospitality, champagne, merchandise, pharmacy, left luggage -- anywhere that offered shelter from the elements.
      Despite the torrential rain, the atmosphere in the spectators' village was surprisingly chipper.
      Gareth and Hilary Jones, who had made their way over from Edinburgh, were entertaining two friends who had come a little further -- from Miami.
      Jim "Carp" Carpenter, 83, and Dan Loffler, 80, spoke in glowing terms about Scottish hospitality, the course, the town of St. Andrews, and even how courteous motorists seemed to be in Fife.
      Asked how they were managing with the inclement weather conditions, Gareth answered for them: "Dan's got five layers on, Jim has six."
      Several hours were lost to the rain and tee times were pushed back.
      Overnight leader Dustin Johnson, in the same group as two-time major winner Jordan Spieth had to kick about until 17:48 local time to begin round two.
      With the promise of more filthy weather to come on Friday, and gusts of around 50 mph forecast for Saturday, organizers of the tournament -- the Royal and Ancient -- were sweating on the schedule.
      So were spectators, many of who began filtering into the course after 10 a.m. once play had resumed.
      For many patrons who had come unprepared (did they not research Scotland?!) their first stop was The Open shop.
      Its manager John McMillan reported a brisk trade in umbrellas and wet weather gear during an "extremely busy" morning.
      "We've been busy all week, whatever the weather has been like," he said. "Of course, more than a few people have come in just to shelter from the rain today."
      Headgear was proving popular — especially of the snazzy tartan variety — as well as the traditional pin flags.
      A family of five Americans all left with matching Open waterproof jackets, a few umbrellas and, no doubt, a hefty credit card bill for their troubles.
      When the action resumed, fans and players alike were trying to sidestep the huge puddles that remained all over the famous links.
      Leslie Campbell and his son Zach, from County Down in Northern Ireland, had hopped across the North Channel for one day only and were in early to make the most of it.
      "The weather was pretty terrible when we arrived," reported Leslie. "We were around the main grandstand for a bit then decided to go and get a bacon sandwich instead."
      Zach, celebrating his 11th birthday, was still smiling despite denouncing the biblical storm which greeted their arrival as "not very nice."
      By this time the sun had appeared and players who had made it out of the starting blocks were enjoying conditions thoroughly conducive to scoring.
      With a window of reasonable weather stretching across the afternoon, there was a little more haste than usual in some feet, players trying to get round before the rain made an unwelcome return.
      One such player was Danny Willett, from Yorkshire, who became the first person to hit 10-under for the tournament before dropping back to nine.
      As fans tramped out to walk the course and queues in The Open Arms bar dwindled, its manager Andy reflected on a bustling morning at the pumps.
      "Bad weather is good for business," he said. "We've been really busy this morning, we always are when the weather isn't great.
      "A lot of people grab a pint of something to walk the course with, or reward themselves with one after coming back in."
      Just outside the burger bar, punters stopped to take photos of an oddly situated falconry, complete with a collection of menacing looking birds.
      Beyond the falcons, the champagne tent was doing a roaring trade with magnums of bubbly flying out for £150 ($234) a pop.
      Outside groups huddled together as heavy rain started to fall again.
      "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed," quipped one spectator to his friend, aping the famous line uttered in a fierce downpour by Andie MacDowell's character in the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral."
      His mates laughed, then they all toddled back into the tent to refill their glasses.