Open diary: Darryn Lloyd - last man out

Meet South African who has tail-end tee time at Muirfield

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 18 Jul 2013

Darryn Lloyd, a 24-year-old South African golfer who practices at Burghley Park, in Lincolnshire achieves a lifetime ambition today when he tees it up at the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield.

Durban-born Lloyd, who plays on both the Sunshine Tour in South Africa and EuroPro Tour in the UK and Ireland, earned his place in the stella line-up against Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy by  finishing third in the 36-hole Africa International Qualifying event in Johannesburg earlier in the year.

He emigrated to the sleepy town of Spalding as a 15-year-old but has followed his coach Mark Jackson to spend several days a week honing his game on a course beside the A1 just outside Stamford.

Golfmagic spoke to him earlier this week about his prospects in the Championship and he's understandably excited.

"Just being here is as good as it gets. I'm playing nicely and finished 6th earlier in the week in a EuroPro event in Scotland so I'm really looking forward to this, " said Darryn who is due to tee off in the last group today (4.13pm) alongside Stephen Dartnell from Australia and Daisuke Maruyama of Japan.

His tee time on Friday is 11.12 am when he's hoping he can be among the 70 players who make the 36-hole cut and challenge for a lion's share of the £5million prizemoney.

"The course is set up tough as you would expect with an Open Championship but it's very fair. The fairways are narrow, firm and running and the rough in parts is thick and deep. Add in the factor of the wind and there's no let-ups," said Darryn who will have Toft Hotel member Scott Freer as his caddie.

So how will he prepare for his greatest experience in golf?

"I'm just trying to relax. We're staying next to a beautiful beach so the surroundings couldn't be better. I'm just trying to treat my preparation as a normal tournament and see what happens. I've got several friends here encouraging me so it's great."

He played a EuroPro tournament at Moray golf club near Lossiemouth last week which, he says is ideal preparation

"It couldn't have been better. It was a links course which is just what you need to get the competitive feel ahead of Muirfield.

He was down the field going into the last of the three rounds after a pair of par-71s but his 68 was the joint best round of the day and shot him up the leaderboard into a tie for 6th - five shots behind the winner Paul McKechnie from Braid Hills.

The £1,033 he won has been a big help in covering his expenses during The Open.

Many players are leaving their driver out of their bag this week.  So will this apply to Darryn?

"Not at all. I love my Ping G15 driver and little has changed since I returned from a successful spell back in South Africa.

"I can't wait to get out there and see what Thursday afternoon brings."

*We're aiming to catch up with Darryn after his first round and again on Friday to give Golfmagic's audience a taste of what it's like inside the ropes. Hopefully Darryn will be there at the weekend as the event reaches its climax.