August 11, 2014 by Rob Newell
Where are the dogs? It’s supposed to be time for the dogs. Isn’t August supposed to be the “dog days of summer” in South Carolina?
Not so for the opening of the Forrest Wood Cup official practice period on Lake Murray. Instead of August, it feels like October. Instead of Lake Murray, it feels more like Lake Champlain.
The high temperature in Lexington, S.C., on Sunday’s first practice day was 77 degrees, a far cry from the mid-90s usually found here in mid-August. What’s more, the first day of practice was extremely overcast, drizzly, misty and almost foggy at times – the sun did not peek out once all day.
“Wow, this is some wild weather for this part of the country right now, huh?” questioned 2012 Forrest Wood Cup winner Jacob Wheeler as he covered water, looking for a clue with his casts. “I thought it was supposed to be boiling hot. I bet the high today was only maybe 80 degrees. If this keeps up another few days it could make things interesting.”
Several pros mentioned that the water has cooled down some 5 degrees during the official off-limits period. Water temperatures now stand at about 80 to 82 degrees.
“What you have to be aware of now are liars,” says 2003 Forrest Wood Cup champion David Dudley. “Liars are fish that are giving you bad information – they’re lying to you about what’s really going on due to the odd conditions. I’ve already caught a few liars on the bank this morning. As soon as the sun comes back out and it gets hot again, they’ll be gone. I’m not getting caught in that trap.”
Local favorite Anthony Gagliardi was hoping for a few more dogs in his day, as he would rather see it sunny and hot.
“I can’t catch a break with the weather when the Forrest Wood Cup comes to town,” Gagliardi joks, referring to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup when a similar big cooldown happened, dashing his hot-weather pattern.
“But last time I really put all my eggs in one basket for that event, giving myself no outs, and that was my mistake,” he continues. “This time around, I’m giving myself a few more options in terms of having something else to go to if the weather continues to do this.”
So far, it looks as if day two of practice will be similar to day one, with overcast skies, a 60 percent chance of rain and a projected high of 85 degrees. By the time the tournament starts on Thursday, the sun will be back out … and maybe a few more dogs will be too.