St. Michael’s Golf Club members can be excused this week for tired eyes and a touch of day-time lethargy with two of the club’s favourite sons teeing it up in this week’s 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion Harrison Crowe and Shellharbour golfer Travis Smyth will fly the Little Bay Club’s flag when the tournament gets underway this Thursday evening ( EAST) at the famous Hoylake Links in Merseyside.
Crowe jetted into the Merseyside city over the weekend and immediately got to work sharpening his game and the watchful eyes of his coach, Johnny Serhan and conditioner trainer Matt Green, while Smyth arrived a week early and spent time reacquainting himself with links courses in preparation for his major under the eyes of his coach, Dean Kinney.
Not since his amateur days has Smyth played too many links courses, but he arrived early to do just that – and get some tips from the locals.
“I had a good day at Royal Lytham and had a fun match against some members,” Smyth said.
“I’ve played Royal Birkdale, Southport and Ainsdale, which is a really tight links course. It was a three-club wind so it was good practice.”
Satisfied with his lead into the Championship, Smyth said he was looking forward to his first taste of the Hoylake course overnight.
“I’ve got my first official practice round today ( last night) at Royal Liverpool.”
“The weather’s been good haven’t got wet yet playing golf, so that’s always a bonus in this part of the world.”
“The week’s prep is going well with Dean (Kinney) my coach, so it’s been an awesome build-up week.”
Smyth, who turned pro in 2017, gained entry to the 151st Open thanks to his third-place finish at the World City Golf Championship in Hong Kong in April.
Like Smyth, Crowe is making his Open debut; however, it will be a little different from his first Major appearance at the Masters back in April.
The 22-year-old got his first taste of the Hoylake course in a practice round with Smyth, Sung Jae Im, and American Taylor Moore. Prior to teeingoff, however, there was the small matter of a quick media interview.
Like most editions of the revered championship, the weather will likely play a part. Early indications are for light showers and moderate winds on the opening two days with temperatures in the high teens.
If either makes the cut, the weekend forecast looks grim, with long spells of rain predicted on Saturday, easing to showers on Sunday.