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Justin Rose (right) and his caddie Mark Fulcher stayed dry enough to post a 4-over 74 Thursday at Royal Birkdale. (Photo: Getty Images)

Caddies face tougher challenge when weather turns nasty

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Sure, things get extra difficult for players when the wind blows hard and the rain falls cold. But they're not the only ones whose jobs get harder in bad weather. Just ask their caddies.

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

SOUTHPORT, England -- If you think the players are miserable in conditions like those that fell upon the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on Thursday -- a cold, steady rain fell while a stiff breeze blew -- imagine how things must be for their caddies.

Aside from lugging a 40-pound bag up and down the dunes, each caddie was consumed with keeping his player, clubs and yardage book dry. All while trying to juggle clubs, towels and an ever-present umbrella.

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Mark Fulcher and Scott Bint would know. They caddie for Justin Rose and Brendan Jones, respectively. Both Fulcher and Bint were out for early morning tee times and experienced the brunt of the rough weather, but their players came away nearly unscathed -- at least for an Open. Rose and Jones each shot 4-over 74.

"It's very tough, but the thing is that if you work as a team, you're prepared," said Fulcher, as he slipped a tattered and drenched yardage book into his jacket pocket. "Justin is very experienced and he knows you've got to take the time and help your caddie to keep things dry."

"This weather is a bit of a stump," Bint said. "You've just got to try and avoid the big numbers. You're going to get some things wrong, so it's just a matter of getting it wrong in the right spots so you can recover and not take yourself out of it in the first round, which was easy to do this morning. I'm very happy with how it went."

So how bad was it out there for the morning round?

"This is probably in the top-20 worst days ever," Fulcher said. "It's tough."

That bad, huh?

"Yes," he continued, "but this is the Open Championship and that's the way it should be, so it's actually quite enjoyable."

Simon Corbett, Rod Pampling's looper, was just getting ready to embark on the first round as the rain took a brief respite.

"I'm extremely glad to see it clearing up," Corbett said, referring to the sky that was turning from black to dark gray. "With the wind and the rain, it's just hard keeping everything dry, keeping him dry and getting everything done - the yardage book - it's just much harder when it's wet. The wind you can handle."

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