Greg Chalmers has seen a lot of things in golf – but the spring in his step this week says plenty.
The West Australian veteran knows just how hard it is to play an Open Championship – and he has no intention of letting the opportunity slip, especially at the home of golf.
“I’m 41 years old and I’m very excited to play here at St Andrews,” Texas-based Chalmers said today.
“I played eight (practice) holes and to see all the stands set up, it’s going to be really cool.
“I’ve got a lot of family and friends in town so I’m screaming around for tickets everywhere I can, so it’s going to be good.”
The dual Australian Open champion is so primed for his third Open tilt that after flying all night from the US PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in Illinois to Scotland, he made a beeline for the Old Course.
“Part of the reason I came out today was we landed (in nearby Edinburgh) at 10am, got to town around 1pm, so came straight to the course so I didn’t fall asleep,” the affable veteran said.
“But I’m fine.
“I’ve done it before. Last time I did it (become afflicted by jet lag) was flying to Melbourne for the Australian Masters (last year), but I’d flown to six countries in six weeks so I was a bit more messed up than this.
“This is only 5-6 hours, so I’ll be fine. We have three days here, a bit of time, we’ll be all right.”
Chalmers, who qualified this week courtesy of his fourth place at Novembers’ Emirates Australian Open, is no stranger to St Andrews having played two Dunhill Links Championships here previously.
He also has made the cut at his two previous Open attempts at Birkdale in 1998 (T57) and Lytham and St Annes in 2012 (T45).
But coming off a lean streak in the United States, he’s not carrying huge expectations this week.
“I haven’t played that well lately. I have expectations of getting to the weekend and then see how it evolves.
“I’m just keeping it low key and trying to get my game in shape.
“It’s a little more lush than I thought – all the footage I’d seen was drier and bouncier than what it is right now.
“So with the putting and running shots it’s a little bit of an adjustment.
“But I’m thrilled the yardage books are brilliant – it’s got pictures where you can see the lines and where to hit it because there are so many blind tee shots where you don’t know where to go.
“I’ve played here before, so I’ve got that, but it’s so hard to remember where to go.”