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HOYLAKE, England -- The Wirral Peninsula was bathed in sunshine on Thursday as the 143rd Open Championship got under way.

Judging from the forecast, though, Thursday looks to offer the best weather conditions for the contestants in the game's oldest major as rain and gusty wind enter the picture each of the last three days at Royal Liverpool.

Heavy rain is expected to start around 3 a.m. local time on Friday. While the showers will eventually end and occasional sun return, the wind could definitely be a factor, coming from the ESE at 20-25 mph with gusts to 30, before switching to the SW and possible sea breezes.

The temperature on Friday could reach a humid 80, as well -- which has raised concerns of a "risk of heat stress." Weather Underground puts the chance of rain at 70 percent. CLICK HERE for the complete forecast.

Saturday will be problematic with showers starting in the morning and quickly becoming heavy, with a strong possibility of thunderstorms that could last into the evening. The winds will be from the south with gusts to 40 mph during the worst of the storms.

The probability of rain on Saturday is an ominous 100 percent.

At least Sunday brings a mix of showers and sun. Some of the rain could be heavy but the wind will be less problematic from the W-NM at just 10-15 mph. The temperatures on Saturday and Sunday should top out in the 70-degree range.

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