Chris Doak has eye on Merion and Nordea title

Scotland's Peter Whiteford on the practice range during the Nordea Scandinavian Masters Pro'Am. Picture: Getty
Scotland's Peter Whiteford on the practice range during the Nordea Scandinavian Masters Pro'Am. Picture: Getty
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IT HAS been a memorable few days for Chris Doak. First, he outscored Jose Maria Olazabal in the third round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, then he came through Monday’s US Open qualifier at Walton Heath to secure a first-ever major appearance at Merion next month.

If things do indeed come in threes, then there’s a fair chance the Greenock man will make his presence felt over the next four days, when the European Tour caravan rolls into Stockholm for the Nordea Masters at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club.

Having said that, it is no surprise that Doak, one of 11 Scots in a field bidding to land a title that is not being defended by Lee Westwood, already has one eye on that forthcoming engagement near Philadelphia, where he would be thrilled to have coach Bob Torrance at his side.

“I would love Bob to come, as much for the fact that he has been instrumental in developing my game and getting me to this level as anything,” said the 35-year-old former Tartan Tour No 1. “It would also be special for him to visit the course where his great hero Ben Hogan hit his legendary 1-iron shot in the 1950 US Open to set up a two-putt par and force a play-off, which he subsequently won.

“Bob once spent seven days with Hogan and he never stops talking about him. As far as Bob’s concerned, Hogan’s the greatest golfer of all time.”

Whether or not Torrance will want to make the journey at 80 remains to be seen but Doak added: “He knows I want him there as support and I’ll get back to him over the next few days in the hope that I can persuade him to come. Having Bob standing next to me on the range to make any last-minute tweaks to my game would be a tremendous help.

“But, no matter what he decides, I won’t be fazed rubbing shoulders with the big names. I’ve met most of them before and I take the view that I’ve earned the right to stand alongside them. It’s no big deal to me. Everyone starts level and this is my golden ticket, so I’ll make sure I don’t waste this chance to make an impact at the highest level.”

Newly-crowned BMW PGA champion Matteo Manassero and Marc Warren, one of the beaten players in the Wentworth play-off, are both in the field in Sweden, where 2011 winner Alexander Noren and Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson head a strong home contingent.