16 Jul 2022 | Professional golf |
Crowd favourite Quayle loving major life
by Dane Heverin
Open debutant Anthony Quayle produced the low round of the day by an Australian on Saturday at St Andrews courtesy of momentum gained from his new cult hero status.
The 27-year-old made eight birdies in his action-packed four-under round of 68 to move to five-under for the tournament much to the delight of the packed crowd.
The roars heard for the Quayle sounded as if they were for a Scotsman, but instead the locals had simply uncovered a new idol in the moustached and mohawk mulleted Queensland PGA champion.
“It seems like a golf fan is a sucker for a 'stache,” Quayle said.
“So they seem to be enjoying the 'stache out there, and a few people have been calling out my name. It feels like I have a lot of support out there.
“I was saying actually the other day that my goals at the start of this year were to win a few golf tournaments and have the roughest lid on Tour. I've won a golf tournament, and I'm probably getting close to the roughest lid, so we're doing all right.”
His new fans were also spurred on by the loud calls of ‘c’mon Q’ from his entourage of eight friends and family who have brought a level of support Quayle only experiences when he plays back home on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“Well, I don't think all my mates get as motivated to come to the Japan Tour,” he said with a laugh. “So, no I don't have the same sort of support (as normal).
“There's so many people out there. They're sort of cheering at you from a grandstand that's 150 metres away because they can kind of see everything. So the atmosphere is incredible out there.”
One of his crew even had to be called upon to carry his bag on Friday as fellow Australian professional Brendan Jones - who is caddying for Quayle this week after agreeing to so if he earned one of the qualifying spots at the Mizuno Open in Japan in May - was struck down with illness.
“I had B.J. the first day, and he was crook as a dog yesterday and said he couldn't do it,” Quayle said.
“So I had to ring one of my mates that was out here watching. He caddied yesterday, and then B.J. was back today. I think B.J. will be back tomorrow unless he gets a bit soft again on me.”
That disruption has not held the Queenslander back however.
He has quickly become accustomed to competing against the best - which fellow Australian Matt Griffin predicted at the start of the week - and crucially he has discovered the belief that he belongs on the big stage.
“I'd really like to sort of just post a really low round tomorrow,” Quayle said.
“I didn't get off to the start I wanted to on Thursday, so it pretty much ruled me out of contention this week. But I feel like I can compete at this level, and I want to at least finish on a strong note tomorrow and sort of show to myself more than anything that I can compete with some of the best in the world.”
In order to do that, he is not changing his plans to soak up the full St Andrews experience and he is sure to find a few more fans with his Saturday night plans.
“I haven’t checked out the Dunvegan pub yet,” he said with a laugh.
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