David Lynn (Getty Images)
David Lynn is looking to cap his best European Tour season with a win at this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles – although the Englishman admits to celebrating his fantastic US PGA Championship runner-up performance like a victory.
The 38 year old was second to Rory McIlroy at Kiawah Island after a pair of 68s over the weekend, a result that was all the more impressive seeing as it came in only his second Major – and first in America.
With only one European Tour title in 371 events, Lynn has endured some difficult times in 14 years on the circuit, but now hopes to add to his 2004 KLM Open title before the year is out.
“I had the same party I had if I had won, my house was full for three days solid,” Lynn said of his exploits in South Carolina.
“The reaction has been brilliant. It's sort of a win for the underdog, really and I've enjoyed it. It's still quite surreal.
“I have to sort of pinch myself that I've done what I've done, but I've said before that I've known that I have some golf in me that's capable of doing some good stuff but tapping into it is infrequent, which is the frustrating part about the game.”
Lynn’s second-place finish to McIlroy earns him a ticket to Augusta National for next year’s Masters Tournament, although he has been left agonizingly short of a chance to make Europe’s Ryder Cup Team automatically. A victory at The Gleneagles Hotel would leave Lynn half a point behind Martin Kaymer in the race for the final spot.
However, having climbed to 15th in The Race to Dubai, Lynn still has plenty to play for this week – and he believes the key is trying to tap into the positive mindset that has brought about three top-five finishes in the last six months.
“Just prior to the US PGA, I had two weeks totally away from the golf course at home,” he added.
“I didn't do an awful lot of practise and went to Kiawah and practiced again. I had one practise round, which is what I do at every tournament. I know a lot of guys like to practise quite a lot when they turn up at a Major but the two I've played in, I try to treat them the same as a normal event, and just have one practise round.
“That went well, and then obviously came out on the Saturday and shot 68, which threw me right up there into the top ten. What surprised me was how calm I felt on the Saturday, shooting that score and turned up on the Sunday and just thought it would be great to get into the same mental state as I was yesterday. I did just that, and I was absolutely calm and just enjoyed it.
“The crowds out there were brilliant. I enjoyed having a bit of banter with a few of them, because they do like to try to talk to you, as well, which I guess it might be a bit different if you were playing really bad. I might not take on as many as I did, but I enjoyed that.
“I don't know what the answer is. I just felt really comfortable. It's obviously a combination of all sorts of things that are going right at the time, because I don't tap into it every time I play golf like that. It doesn't happen like that.
“Sometimes I might be anxious how my game feels and it's just maybe trying to play a bit defensive, whereas I was just real calm about things and I was just the golf swing was flowing, and I was hitting all of the shots that I wanted to.
“My track record says that I've only won once in 371 starts, as everyone keeps telling me, so the odds of it happening are quite slim.
“First things first – I’ve got to turn up tomorrow and I can't qualify tomorrow or win the tournament tomorrow, but I can certainly lose it.”