David Drysdale takes Route 66 into the spotlight

David Drysdale tees off at the 15th during the third round of the Open at, Royal Birkdale. Picture: Ian Rutherford
David Drysdale tees off at the 15th during the third round of the Open at, Royal Birkdale. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Is there really a more under-rated golfer than David Drysdale? I’d say that’s extremely doubtful because the Cockburnspath man rarely gets any real credit for carving out a very respectable career since turning professional just over 20 years ago, writes Martin Dempster.

He’s the type who doesn’t really mind lurking in the shadows, yet is starting to step into the spotlight a bit more.

A course-record 63, closing with seven straight birdies, in the final round of the Irish Open at Portstewart a fortnight ago certainly made people sit up and take notice and now he’s giving a good account of himself in his second Open Championship appearance.

After emulating his feat at Turnberry in 2009 by making the cut at Royal Birkdale, Drysdale, pictured, displayed a definite growing confidence in his own ability as he moved up the leaderboard on the back of a third-round 66 that featured six birdies.

“I’m proud of myself,” he said of his efforts so far, having set up the chance of another big pay day to add to the career-best cheque for just over £210,000 he picked up for finishing fourth in Ireland. “I’m maybe half-lucky to even be here for the weekend but pleased that weather stuck around on Friday afternoon to get me in. I was annoyed with my finish as I dropped two in the last three and I was a bit peeved at the time.

“But I knew if the bad weather hung about I’d have a great chance of making it in. I just want to enjoy tomorrow and see what happens. I’ve been playing some decent stuff of late and I’ll try to do the same things and get the ball to the hole.”

Just about everywhere he plays Drysdale normally has a loyal band of supporters following him, including his father Robin, but the crowds at an event like this are something the former Dunbar assistant professional doesn’t experience too often.

“The support I got today was incredible,” admitted Drysdale, who is coached by Jamie Gough, the younger brother of former Scotland defender Richard. “The grandstand at the first was full at half past eight, an hour before the first game. All the grandstands are full and they are seven or eight deep at the ropes. You feed off that.

“You’re focused most of the time, but I made some nice putts and the roar on number seven when I made my birdie was the loudest I’ve ever heard. These are the things you take away with you.”

Caddying for Drysdale this week, having done a great job on the bag for him this season, is his wife, Vicky. “Vicky is loving it, too,” he reported. “She’s been having a great time and gives me the boot up the behind that I need. She’s so positive – the opposite of me! There’s been no matrimonial strife as yet. Those are the only five hours when I’m the boss!”