European Tour Member Richard Green, who failed to qualify for The Open Championship the last time it was played at St Andrews in 2000, ensured this time around was a totally different story when he moved into contention in the early stages of the second round.
The 34 year old Australian – winner of the Dubai Desert Classic in 1997 – took advantage of the relatively benign early morning conditions on the Old Course to post a fine 68 for a four under par total of 140 to grab the clubhouse lead, only two shots behind Tiger Woods, who plays in the afternoon.
The left hander carded birdies at the fifth, ninth, 12th and 14th before succumbing to a bogey five on the treacherous Road Hole 17th after a poor drive. But he recovered admirably, holing a 15 footer for a closing birdie three on the 18th.
“It was a little cold early on when I started and I was pleased to get through the first four holes in level par,” he said. “Then I made the birdie on the fifth which got me going and started my momentum for the rest of the round.
“I holed from about ten feet on the 12th and 14th and I felt confident from that length all day. I had struggled a little bit with that length of putt for the past two to three weeks but I have seemed to find the pace of the greens here to my liking.
“I was pleased to make bogey five in the end at the 17th after a really poor drive – it could have been a lot worse – but it was nice to finish the way I did at the last and that has set me up for the weekend.”