I started yesterday really looking forward to playing Kingsbarns because it’s one of my favourite courses and, although it was blowing a little out there, the weather was good.
In Thursday’s round at Carnoustie I got some great tips from the two pros in my group – I got into my groove and I really felt I knew what I was doing. However, the outcome of yesterday’s round didn’t quite match my expectations. As an amateur you can come out and play a decent round, hit some decent shots and you think it will to come back to you the following day but the rule is not to expect anything from your game at my level.
I did start the round well, hitting a good drive off the first tee but sadly there were few highs to follow. The sixth was another highlight for me. It’s a risk-and-reward hole where you can score if you hit it right off the tee which, fortunately, I did. I opted for a driver and the managed to put the ball right in front of the green.
I got a line from my caddy Mark and from my playing partner Lee Westwood then rolled the 160 foot putt right up to the hole - and it very nearly dropped in. I ended up putting in for a three (net two) but, as I had a shot on that hole, had I managed to sink that first putt I would have taken a one, a net albatross! That would have been huge but a net eagle is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Despite the success with the putter on the sixth, this side of my game didn’t really come together as it did yesterday. It’s so important to get your putting going on a course like this where sometimes you find yourself with your putter in hand 30 or 40 yards off the green but, if you get it right, it can really work for you on these tight lies.
As a team we finished yesterday on -12 which is seven shots off the top of the leader board. There’s still a day to go so anything can happen and we’ll certainly give it a great shot tomorrow. We’re also on the Old Course tomorrow which is my favourite of this tournament and, as ever, I’m really looking forward to playing it. I had a great practice round there on Wednesday and I feel I know the course so fingers crossed.
• Ronan tees off at 9.11 on The Old Course at St Andrews today for his third round in this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship