Open Diary Round 2: England’s Paul Waring reveals what it’s like to play in the second round of The Open in tougher conditions
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.
Following a first round 74, Waring needed to post a number to ensure he would make the cut – but then had three bogeys in the last three holes of his front nine.
Two more bogeys came on 13 and 14, but then a new player emerged – holing a putt for eagle on 15 and a birdie on 16. He lipped out for another birdie chance on 17 and failed to convert his par on 18- and he Waring looks almmost certain to miss the cut by a shot or two at 7-over-par.
It was a disappointing day and to be honest on +7 I don’t expect to play at the weekend. Lipping out at 17 and missing a tiddler on the last is frustrating and who knows if they had gone in?
But these things happen, that’s golf. To be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance of making it anyway.
I’ve got to say it was pretty tough out there, a four-club wind at times, and it was a bit of a guessing game and a lottery. Putting is really difficult specially with the ball oscillating quite a lot. However, beforehand I thought the conditions would help me.
I was thinking if I could get in around about level par I had a chance. It was a disappointing finish but generally at least I kept it together and played nicely at times. I was a lot more chilled and relaxed out there today. Making a three on 15 was a real highlight and I nearly holed it on 16, just a couple of inches short and hit the hole on 17 for birdie.
The less said about the missed putt on 18 the better though I’d rather miss that one than miss one to win a tournament! It’s not a setback at all. I’ve got a bit of time off now to get myself ready for the end of the season.
But firstly I’m going to head back to my Southport hotel, see how the rest of the day goes and maybe go home. Being a local boy, there was a lot of expectation and to be honest I handled that pretty poorly.
I allowed certain things to get to me which normally wouldn’t affect me. I received a lot of text ‘play well’ messages beforehand whereas normally people leave me alone and just let me get on with it. I’ve not had this before and it’s something else to manage and learn to deal with.
Earlier on, I had an 8.30am pick up, arrived at Birkdale, had some breakfast about 9.15, put my shoes on and started work an hour before my 10.30 tee-time. That involved a bit of putting, a chat with my coach and psychologist while warming up, and a bit of short game stuff before heading to the 1st tee.
I felt a lot more settled today and put in a 2-iron instead of a 1-iron which gave me a few options which was nice and then absolutely ripped the first tee shot to got off to a good start. I played much better today but let a few shots go which you’re going to do in these conditions –
I hadn’t made a birdie until I made eagle on 15 and followed up with birdie on the next. Better late than never I suppose but it would have been good to have finished strongly and not having missed a short putt at the last.
I’ll be watching it over the weekend and I must say it’s pretty Open and you’ve got to fancy somebody like Ritchie Ramsey who is used to this sort of weather and controls the ball well. He knows how to play links golf but whether he can hold himself together over the weekend, we’ll see…