EDINBURGH golfer Andrew Oldcorn was at a loss to figure out why his game had come unstuck for the third year running in one of the biggest events of the season.
He was totally perplexed after carding a two-over-par 72 in the first round of the Senior Open at Turnberry to sit eight shots behind leader Bernhard Langer.
Oldcorn got off to a flying start in sunny Ayrshire after holing a 6-iron second shot from 178 yards for an eagle-3 at the third. But it was all downhill after that as his driving, normally a strong point, started to mis-fire. “It was a dire,” admitted the Kings Acre touring professional. “Even the shot for my eagle was an awful one as I thinned it and it only went it because it was straight.”
Sitting fifth on the European Senior Tour Order of Merit, Oldcorn had high hopes coming into the event but revealed his game had started to come unstuck in practice. “I’ve been struggling all week, to be honest,” added the former PGA champion. “I did a lot of work on the range on Wednesday with (coach) Alan Murdoch and thought we’d sorted it out.”
Oldcorn missed the cut on his British Open debut at Carnoustie two years ago before finishing just outside the top 50 at Walton Heath last year. “It’s so frustrating as each time I’ve come into this event I’ve been playing well only to lose my swing,” he confessed.
Kevin Phillips, the Winterfield club pro who qualified for the event earlier in the week, marked his debut with a birdie at the first from two feet.
“I was leading the Senior Open after that,” said the early starter, “but then it all went wrong.” He eventually signed for a 78 but there was nothing going to spoil one of the most enjoyable days of his career.
“For 36 years I’ve dreamt of playing in an Open Championship and I’m delighted to have finally made it,” added Phillips.