Having watched The Open on TV every year from about 1986 onwards, it?s amazing to actually be playing in it. Ever since I started as a junior at Ashford Golf Club I?ve practiced holing putts for the Open – all the guys playing this week must have done that at some point. So to have the opportunity to play in the tournament and hopefully get in contention is awesome. It?s what dreams are made of.

The last time I played in the Open was at Muirfield in 2002 and I qualified just a few days before at LFQ so it was all a bit of a rush to get ready. This year I qualified at Sunningdale a couple of weeks ago so I?ve had some time to prepare. My management company, GMI looked into accommodation for me – they found a few options ranging from houses that would cost between two and six grand for the week. We then found out that there were a few rooms here at the Carnoustie Hotel that the R&A had kept back. They are charging £245 a night! It?s massively over priced but I thought that for ease of transport it was best. I don?t have to worry about traffic and getting to the course and it takes the stress out of it.

I had my first sighter of the course last night when the weather was perfect. When I played here in the Dunhill Links I thought it was a nice course but now with the huge stands up and special atmosphere of the Open I thought it was awesome. The course is in great condition and the rough isn?t too punishing. It?s one of those courses where there are no weak holes. You need to hit the ball well from the first to the last hole. Whoever wins this week needs to play all round good golf. It?s as simple as that really.

This week I?ve got my girlfriend with me. Jo is a great influence, she?s really supportive. She?s a school teacher so in the summer holidays she gets to quite a few events ? probably about six or seven in total. When I played last night she walked round. She was also willing to walk round again this morning when it was lashing down with rain but I told her not to be silly. My parents are also coming up ? they?ll be here on Wednesday. I?m going to pick up a hire car from Dundee so we have a bit of freedom to get out of here and meet my parents for dinner. We are planning to go to St Andrews tomorrow night for dinner which will be nice ? I love it there, there?s a great feeling about that place.

I?d like just to thank everyone back home for their support, it?s been brilliant. I?ll try and savour this experience as much as I can but it?s my living so I need to get my head down and perform. I can?t just wander round lapping it all up – I?m here to do a job.

Finally, I?ll mention the little gift pouch that you received when you register as a player. I was hoping that I might get something a bit special. Like when you make it onto the European Tour, they give you a money clip which is nice. But all I got a player badge and then lots of info.