17 Jul 2022 | Professional golf |
Quayle's Open debut best by an Aussie since '05
by Dane Heverin
By Dane Heverin at St Andrews
Anthony Quayle has produced the best Open debut by an Australian since 2005 after he shot a five-under final round of 67 to move into a tie for 16th at ten-under par.
The 27-year-old fired home six birdies on Sunday to continue his streak of going lower each round in his first major championship as he carded 74-69-68-67 to finish one position shy of Mark Hensby’s tied 15th Open debut also at St Andrews.
“That was cool. One of the coolest days of my life. That was really cool. Had so much fun,” Quayle said.
“Look, I'm kind of speechless. I think I said here earlier in the week, I got off to a bad start on Thursday and probably ruled myself out of the tournament to win.
“But, look, I felt I could sort of dig in and play well the next few days and place a decent result and see where it ends up. But I'm pretty happy with how it all went.”
Quayle blossomed across the weekend courtesy of a combination of power hitting, terrific touch around the greens and momentum.
He carried energy forward from his Friday evening fight with the elements to push one shot clear of the cut line with a back nine 34 as the sun was setting on the Old Course, and from then on charged ahead like a freight train.
The Scottish crowd adopted him as one of their own due to his now iconic moustache and mohawk mullet and he fed off their energy to shoot 14 birdies in his final 36 holes.
Fellow Australian Matt Griffin declared earlier in that week that Quayle was one to watch and he could not have been more spot on.
“I've never played a major, so it's hard to really genuinely expect what I thought I could do,” Quayle said.
“But I don't know, at the end of the day I tried to just treat it like it was another golf tournament I was trying to win and just see where that got me. And I think earlier in the week I got to play with a few bigger names in the practice rounds and see them in the locker room, that kind of stuff.
“Gradually got over that. I felt more and more comfortable in my own skin at this level of each day. Look, I think I felt like I could do it. I feel like I could contend. And yeah. So I'm pretty speechless. Just pretty happy with the week.”
The Japan Golf Tour regular will now enjoy two weeks off before heading to Singapore for an Asian Tour event and he will return to Japan from there with his sights on an American move.
“I’m planning to go play Korn Ferry Tour school at the end of the year most likely,” he said.
“I want to play on the PGA TOUR for sure and at the start of the year I said I want to make a much stronger push for that.
“January this year I said I really want to push for the U.S. tour. I'm prepared to move away from home and family and just do everything that I need to do to give it a proper crack. Hopefully this does a little bit of that, even instills a bit of confidence in myself and I can sort of hopefully make a bit of a push to get over there in the next year or two.”
Before all of that, he will celebrate this achievement first with his eight strong entourage who have cheered his every shot this week.
“I'll probably be pretty sore tomorrow, I think. I've got to go pack up my things, but we'll probably go have a few pints somewhere I think. A lot of fun,” Quayle said.
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