Andrew Oldcorn enjoyed meeting up with his mates in a Juniper Green pub last Friday to celebrate the Edinburgh man returning to winning ways at the age of 56.
But that get-together was also when Oldcorn drew a line under a welcome upturn in his career and started to focus on getting back down to business.
Starting today, in fact, when he sets out at Carnoustie attempting to improve on an “abysmal” record in the Senior Open Championship.
“I am still very friendly with guys from Ratho Park and some people I went to school with and I had a few drinks on Friday night with them,” said Oldcorn, pictured below, of the celebration to mark his victory in the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany a week past Sunday. “We drink in Juniper Green now and I said to the guys let’s go for a drink before I turn my attention to this week.
“It was really nice. The landlord put on a table and a bottle of champagne that I wasn’t expecting, which was really kind. The best thing was that they were probably more pleased than I was and that was great.”
That’s saying something because the man himself was “ecstatic” and no wonder as he overcome a serious lack of competitive events to end a lengthy drought. It was Oldcorn’s first victory since landing the PGA Seniors in 2011, a success that came a decade after he’d claimed the PGA Championship. The fact the field he beat included Bernhard Langer – the dominant force in Seniors golf – in Vorbeck made the success even sweeter.
“I think since I last won I’d been second six times and three of those were to Peter Fowler. There were two or three I should have won, notably one in France,” recalled the Kings Acre Academy-attached player. “It wasn’t really a case that I didn’t have confidence in my ability to do it again but, as each year goes by and you get older, younger, more stronger players come on to the Senior Tour. It becomes more difficult as the standard is a lot higher now than when I started six years ago. I’m 56 now, but I still feel the same over the ball as I did 10-11 years ago. What I can’t contend with as well as I once did is the strength of the field, so to win in Germany when Bernhard was in the field made it more poignant for me. It reinforced a lot of things that maybe I’d lost a bit of confidence in.
“To win at that level against that opposition was a massive boost for my confidence. But I’ve got to put it to bed now. It’s done. I’ll maybe look back at it again in the winter but there’s still a lot of things to be done this season and I want to finish this season well.”
It was at Carnoustie where Oldcorn made his Senior Open debut in 2010, missing the cut after a brace of 75s in an event won by Langer. His best effort in five subsequent appearances is 46th at Royal Porthcawl two years ago, when the German produced a links masterclass to lift the over-50s Claret Jug for a second time. It (the win in Germany) doesn’t really change my expectations because my performances in this tournament have been abysmal,” said Oldcorn. “Absolutely abysmal, in fact, when you think of my ability to play links golf. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself this week. I just want to go out there and adopt the old mantra of taking it day by day.”