REIGNING champion Darren Clarke says this week's Open will be a "nightmare" for competitors.
Clarke, who won the Claret Jug at Sandwich, has been stunned at how tough the Royal Lytham course is since arriving here at the weekend.
He has labelled the 7,086 yard par 70 layout "brutal" and, with high winds and rain forecast, he fears scoring will be high.
The Ulsterman said: "The course is going to be tough. It is quite narrow, the rough is very, very penal and rough weather is coming.
"The course is very heavily bunkered in the landing areas where we need to hit the ball. It's a nightmare.
"There are going to be occasions this week then you're going to see guys taking penalty drops out of them.
"They won't be able to move their ball out of them.
"Then there is the rough. There are a few patches where it is almost unplayable, just brutal.
"There is going to be a huge premium on accuracy.
"If you spray the ball around, you might as well go home. If you start missing fairways you will struggle. I can see a few places where balls will be lost, even with spotters."