Open diary Day 1: 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.
I arrived at Birkdale about 3pm and, to be honest, had the morning to myself after my exertions in the Scottish Open at Dundonald.
I didn’t want to start too early - I know the course quite well anyway, having played here a few times including the last Open in 2008 so I know what to expect.
I’ve played a bit of amateur golf here, a few of my friends are members here and I feel I know the course pretty well and in fact was at Birkdale a few weeks ago for a practice round.
This is such a great week playing in your own Open and I’m very relaxed having finished off in Scotland and just coming down now and spending a bit of time on my chipping and putting though, as I say, I don’t want to do too much today – I want to slowly build myself up for the rest of the week.
I’ve done quite a bit of media stuff today, a few interviews, to try and get them out of the way so to speak so I can focus fully on my preparation.
After signing in, I did pieces for both Sky Sports piece and Liverpool FC TV, being a Red and a local boy and all that, and then made my way down to the range.
It’s been a very up and down year so far: there’s been some very good stuff and there’s been some very bad stuff as well, terribly inconsistent. So long as my good stuff stays good I’m not that despondent though and coming into this week it was great to play in a few events on links courses, the Irish and the Scottish, beforehand. It gives you an idea of the feel of links golf again and gets you into that mentality and mindset again. I feel like I’ve prepared nicely….
I’ve been working and spending a bit of time with my driver, specifically on the rhythm of my takeaway. I tend to snatch it away at times and I drove it poorly in France a couple of weeks ago and it proved costly. Overall, I did nicely and performed well but unfortunately my driving let me down towards the end so I just want to get that ironed out and a little bit better. Thankfully it’s felt better and better over the past couple of weeks and long may it continue…
It will be nice to go out tomorrow (Tues) and play either nine or even 18 holes because the weather doesn’t look too good for Wednesday.
My plan for this evening is to check into Southport’s Vincent Hotel while I’ve booked a table in a nearby Asian-Pacific restaurant for 8pm to get some good food, may be washed down by a cool beer before starting the real work tomorrow.
I see I have a very late 1st round tee-time on Thursday, fourth from last I reckon, and hopefully the weather will be kind for the late starters. I can’t wait…