Paul Waring Blog: The inside story of The Open at Royal Birkdale

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Open diary Day 2: England's Paul Waring reveals what it's like to play in The Open  

TG Exclusive: We've teamed up with English professional golfer Paul Waring this week as he gives us daily updates on what it's like to be playing at Royal Birkdale this week in the 146th Open. 

About Paul: The former English Amateur champion has been plagued with back injuries, and was granted a medical exemption for this season having managed just four events last year- but things are looking up. Waring had a runner-up finish at the Joburg Open in February to secure his place in his first Open since Royal Birkdale in 2008. That year he finished 19th and played alongside Phil Mickelson on Sunday. 

 

It’s been a good day. I arrived at the club at 10.30am,  put my shoes on and firstly spoke to my manager to go through any interviews and commitments planned for today.

I then made my way down to the range and my coach Graham Walker arrived at 11am so we did a bit of work together for around a couple of hours.

I hit a few balls, got myself warmed up and did a bit of shot shaping with the wind and getting it on the right side of the wind.

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I’ve been working hard on my driver so I’m just getting the left shoulder initiating the backswing a bit more rather than whipping the hands away so it’s a bit more of a one-piece takeaway.

I then went onto a couple of the Tour vans including Wilson’s to pick up some hats for the week and some brollies which might be required with the forecast not sounding too good!

I also picked up a couple of Wilson’s new wedges to try out to see how they go.

Lunchtime was and about 1-ish; a nice piece of cod with broccoli washed down with a bottle of water, before my 1.40pm practice round tee-time.

I played with Joe Dean on the front nine; he’s also taught by Graham and is a young lad who’s qualified. He plays a bit of EuroPro and really smashes it!

Former Masters champion Danny Willett joined us on the 10th for the back nine. I’m good mates with Danny and it was nice to see him for a few holes.

Danny looked fine and happy to be fair and obviously he’s under a bit of pressure to perform well. But he’s looking better and hopefully will have a good week.

It felt good out on the course, working from the fairway, out of the semi, out of the rough and basically trying to cover all angles and scenarios.

I spent a bit of time putting around the greens, not necessarily to the hole but various potential pin placement spots.

The emphasis is on which side of the greens you can play from and working out the ‘dead’ side – places which are unplayable.

I was looking at real solid lines off the tees which you’re going to need to give yourself the space which you’re going to need this week with the expected strong crosswinds.

It was a case of plotting my way round and getting a feel for the surfaces; it wasn’t about actually playing golf but just trying to find out as much about the golf course as I can.

Scores are completely irrelevant this time of the week – we’ll worry about that come Thursday!

Having said that, it was pretty special coming down the 18th with the giant stands and the art deco clubhouse in the backdrop.

Afterwards, I had a quick interview with a local newspaper and then jumped into the car to head back to my hotel for a quick change and shower before heading off to my management company’s (Wasserman) barbecue this evening. It should be a relaxing evening with the wife.

And then it’s a case of starting again tomorrow….