ACCORDING to the logo on both his hat and bag, Scott Drummond “loves cars”.
If he wasn’t being paid to advertise that, he’d surely be happy to display his affection for Wentworth.
It was here, nine years ago, that the Scot sprang one of the biggest surprises in European Tour history by winning its flagship event with a record-equalling 19-under-par total.
There’s little chance of the 38-year-old emulating the feat tomorrow, but his presence in the final two rounds in his first appearance on the main Tour since last July, having followed up a splendid 70 late on Thursday night with a battling 75 in the worst of yesterday’s wet conditions, is praiseworthy in itself.
Plymouth-based Drummond has slipped well down the ladder since reaching giddy heights in 2004, when his victory here helped him become the European Tour Rookie of the Year. So far down, in fact, that, sitting 1,515st in the world, this could be his only event all year on either the top Tour or Challenge Tour.
He used a third-tier EuroPro Tour event in Shropshire as a warm up for this week and, though a three-putt bogey at the last wasn’t the sign off he’d been looking for at the halfway stage, it didn’t even come close to wiping the smile from his face.
“Playing in all four rounds was my main goal as I’ve not played any competitive golf this year,” said Drummond, whose £625,000 winner’s cheque in 2004 makes up a large chunk of career earnings totalling £1.65 million. “I’m still quite rusty, but I’ve played well for the first two days, especially in tough conditions.”
He admitted it is far easier swapping the sort of low-key events he’s had to play in to try to stay competitive in recent seasons for the glitz and glamour of the Tour’s flagship event than the other way around.
“It’s a great place to come back to and it’s a great tournament, having grown quite a bit since I first played,” added Drummond, who was born in England but took his Fife-born father George’s nationality when he turned professional in 1996. “You can’t help but feel good here, though the weather today was probably as rough as I can remember.
“The aim now is to try and secure the biggest cheque possible. As things stand, I’ve got no other tournaments for the rest of the season as I’m not even guaranteed to get any starts on the Challenge Tour. I’ve played some mini-tour events the last couple of seasons but, to be honest, the motivation isn’t there to do it this year.” While exempt for this event until he turns 50, Drummond can’t just rely on it coming around to try and secure a pay-day. “I had to get involved in other things due to the fact I’ve not had a proper schedule for the past two years,” he said.
“Some guys approached me about getting in sports management. They were keen to get a player involved so we’re trying to push forward with that. We’ve got Sam Little on the main Tour and Martin Sell on the Challenge Tour. But, in my heart of hearts, I’m a player and it’s painful for me when I’m not playing.
“All I can do is try to get invites. I’m 38 but feel as though I’m still 25. That’s a good thing on one hand but, on the other, it doesn’t do me any favours. Over the last couple of years it’s stressed me a bit and I was disappointed when I didn’t get invites. But this year I’ve decided not to get uptight. If I felt I wasn’t able to compete I’d hang my hat up, but I think I’ve shown over the last couple of days that I can still do that.”