The Open: Wright’s practice was just perfect

HE may have made a detour following a wayward drive into the crowd but Gareth Wright, the Edinburgh-based Welshman, still enjoyed his first march up the 72nd hole in an Open Championship.

Big hitter: Edinburghs Gareth Wright

“The whole week is probably just starting to sink in now,” admitted the 31-year-old Tartan Tour player attached to West Linton, where his stepfather, Ian, is the club professional.

“I’ve tried to treat it as normal a golf tournament as you possibly can – but now I’m probably going to have a few beers with my mates.”

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Wright, who signed off with a 74 for a total of 298, savoured the experience from start to finish, although the highlight of week had come before the gun went off.

“Probably playing with [Ian] Poulter and Westie [Lee Westwood] in practice,” he declared. “I had a word with Ian and he said I was more than welcome to join the two of them. They were great with me.

“Playing in a major and making the cut shows that you’ve obviously got the game to play with the best of them so, hopefully, I can take a bit of belief from this and move on at the end of the year.”

That’s when he’ll try to qualify for the European Tour but his next outing is due to be Wednesday’s Panmure Pro-Am followed by the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship, the Tartan Tour’s flagship event, starting on Sunday. “I think I’m meant to be at work tomorrow, but I think my dad might let me have the day off as I’m pretty tired,” smiled Wright.

Going into the final round, he had been the biggest hitter in the field with an average drive of 308.5 yards, though that statistic was diluted on this occasion by a lot of players taking either 3-woods or irons from tees. “Apart from the last today, where I put it in the crowd but got a good drop, I’ve hit my driver well this week,” 
he added.