Sunshine, showers and strong winds presented a stern test for Team UK (GM contributing editor and competition winner Chris Walker) on their second day at The Open as they took on the challenges of the Castle Course…
As on last year’s road trip, the hour-long drive to St Andrews gave the opportunity to try out the stunning new Mercedes 450, a luxurious beast of a car that will be launched onto the UK market in the Autumn. The GLE 450 AMG 4MATIC Coupe is powered by an incredibly responsive 6-cylinder petrol engine and is kitted out inside with every conceivable convenience and luxury.
With rain causing problems for the Open Championship field playing over the Old Course and those watching all over the world, the five pairs – two from Germany, one each from Spain, Italy and the UK – were fortunate enough to be playing in the afternoon on Friday. As rainbows conjured up photo opportunities over the demanding Castle course, a tasty lunch was followed by some practice on the range before it was time to bite the bullet and head on out.
The first hole is a short par 4 which, directly into the wind, was pretty much a 3-shotter for everyone, effectively playing as a par 5. Rob and Chris were this time playing with Team Facebook, a German pairing and great company who had won their spot on this amazing trip thanks to their creative use of social media to express their passion for golf.
The sixth hole has a lovely backdrop of the town of St Andrews, and this provided the group with a chance for some souvenir photos before Rob managed to miss a 4-foot birdie putt on the eighth which he claims was blown off-line by the wind!
For some reason, the wind seldom seemed to help over this Top 100 course as it was either directly into, or straight across. Scoring was therefore more difficult than the previous day, but Chris and Rob kept things ticking over and were both delighted to hit the green and record pars on the extremely tough par-3 seventeenth which is played over a gorge along the edge of the cliffs.
Back in the respite of the modern clubhouse, the results were put together revealing that the day’s winners were Team Germany with 63 points, followed by Spain with 59, and Rob and Chris on 57. In the circumstances, this seemed a very decent total, and it was then into town to the delightful Doll’s House Restaurant for a late dinner.
The weekend will be spent following the Pros at the Old Course, before the final round on Monday at Gleneagles where Team UK will be hoping to overhaul the 6 point deficit and overtake the Spaniards.