David Drysdale opened with a par-breaking 69 and was delighted to make the cut on his Open debut at Turnberry in 2009.
But the former Dunbar assistant pro believes he is returning to the event this week better equipped for a major, both technically and mentally.
“Although ’09 was my best year on the European Tour, I would say I am a better golfer now,” said Drysdale as he completed his preparations at Royal Birkdale. “I’m a much better player now from tee to green and much more experienced. I made the cut at Turnberry and did okay, but I am definitely in a much better place now with my game overall.”
The 42-year-old, who secured his spot thanks to a course-record 63 in the last round of the Irish Open at Portstewart a week past Sunday, is getting his first taste of the Southport venue.
And he can’t wait to start the opening round in the company of American duo Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner, both of whom are in the world’s top 50.
“It is amazing to be back playing in The Open,” said the Cockburnspath man. “When you arrive and see the grandstands, you just think wow. We get some great crowds on the European Tour, especially at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but even that is nothing really compared to here.
“I was watching Padraig Harrington’s win in 2008 on the TV the other night and, despite the weather being awful, they got more than 200,000 that week.”