The Open Championship beckons
Taking to the first tee at an Open Championship is one of those pipe dreams you hold as a young player growing up. When you list out in your head, the things that you want to achieve across your career, going toe-to-toe with the world’s best at The Open Championship is well up there. Luckily for me, I will have the pleasure of doing that for the first time this week as I head to Carnoustie.
At the minute, my focus is very much on preparing in the best way possible so that I can hit the ground running when it comes to Thursday but there are also times when you have to take stock and allow yourself to enjoy the moment, recognising what you have achieved. After all, to be competing at this level against the world’s finest players is a testament to all the work you have put in along the way and those that have helped and supported you in getting there. I know that I am very lucky to be taking on the oldest championship in golf, something millions aspire toward, but like any professional, it’s now about delivering with the job at hand.
I’d be lying if I said that there won’t be a fair few nerves jangling as I take to the first tee but that is only natural and I have some fond memories from my Major debut at The PGA Championship last year to draw from. That week at Quail Hollow was a big moment in my career and I will always remember how it felt to close out a top-ten finish in my Major debut.
Whilst the scale of everything at a Major is unprecedented, at the end of the day it is just another course and you have to try and approach it in the same way. I was proud there to bounce back from a double bogey at the first and another bogey at the third to record a one-under-par opener. This gave me the confidence for the week ahead and this will stand me in good stead for what is to come at Carnoustie.
The venue itself this week holds so much history and I cannot wait to take on everything that it has to offer. It is always nice to be playing on the British Isles and the UK crowds are certainly some of the best to play in front of. Performance wise, I am heading into the week in a good place. My swing feels as good as it has done all season and I have had some solid displays in Italy, France and Scotland in the last month and I am looking to continue that this week.
The field will be one of the strongest I have competed in and I find that is something that really spurs me on to my best golf. The guys at the very top of the sport are in the position that I want to be in and there’s no better way of proving myself at that level, than by going toe-to-toe with them on course.
This year’s event at Carnoustie is another really key one for the Aggreko Major Events team. Let’s hope that I am joining them in smiling and reflecting on another successful week come Sunday evening!