As Lee Westwood and Luke Donald were coming toward the end of their practice round on what had been another awful day of English weather, a strange thing happened.
The thick clouds began to break up in the western sky. There were patches of blue and, yes, even a brief glimpse of the sun.
For a few glorious moments Monday, Westwood and Donald were putting through shadows on the 16th green.
An omen, perhaps?
No English golfer has won a British Open on English soil since 1969, but the prospects of snapping that drought at Royal Lytham & St. Annes seem brighter than ever. Donald is ranked No. 1 in the world. Westwood sits at No. 3. Justin Rose isn't far behind, holding down the ninth spot. Ian Poulter is further back (No. 28), but he has contended at the Open and played well in the Ryder Cup.
''Certainly, the talent in England is great right now,'' Donald said.
Tony Jacklin is clearly impressed. He just happens to be that English winner from 43 years ago -- a triumph that took...