American Jerry Bruner attributed his flawless opening round 67 for the clubhouse lead in the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open to a change of attitude after admitting he has been going through the motions so far this season.
The 64 year old told friends at the start of the 2011 campaign that he plans to retire at the end of the season following a successful 13 year stint on the European Senior Tour and nearly 30 years as a professional.
That revelation has seen the three-time Senior Tour winner slip below his normal high standards so far this season, leaving him lying 66th on the Order of Merit and without a top 20 finish this year.
However, a conversation with a close friend during a three week break after missing the cut in The Senior Open Championship has helped Bruner refocus and he fired five birdies at Fairmont St Andrews to post his best round of the season.
“I’ve been letting everyone know that I’m retiring at the end of the season and I think I became a little too involved with that,” he said. “I’ve been going through the motions and I spoke to a friend who told me I need to keep playing until the end of the year and worry about next year then.
“I’ve had a bit of an attitude change since that phone call and it has worked. Now I know what I have to do again this year and I feel like my old self. I wasn’t getting in a bad mood if I shot a bad round or hit a bad shot but I am now and it’s like I used to be.
“I’ve had a great time on the Senior Tour over the past 13 years, seeing the world and meeting some great people but I’ve had enough now. It would be nice to go out with a bang and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
Bruner also credited his change in fortune to some hard work on his putting, which resulted in a spectacular showing on the greens in Scotland as his round ignited with three birdies in a row from the eighth hole and further shots picked up on the 14th and 15th holes.
“I sank five putts of more than 12ft today so I was very happy with my putter,” said Bruner. “I did a lot of work back in Los Angeles during the break and it’s feeling really good.”