David Carey looks set for a potentially career-changing week after cruising into the weekend at the 150th Open Championship on his major debut at St Andrews.
Carey backed up an opening 72 with a superb five-under 67 to move onto that mark and is eight shots adrift of halfway leader Cameron Smith.
The Dubliner plies his trade on the Alps Tour, one of Europe’s satellite tours, but secured a place at the Old Course via Open qualifying and despite making the cut he is eyeing bigger and better things over the weekend.
The big hitting Irishman talked up his chances of lifting the Claret Jug and his ambitions haven’t changed, despite the prospect of lifechanging riches, he is focused on silverware.
“I don’t play this game for money. Not that I don’t want it but I play to win golf tournaments so my goal will be to try and get myself into position to win,” said Carey, who turned pro as a teenager and has been waiting for a break like this to announce himself.
“Anybody who knows me will know that this is not unexpected we have been waiting for the right moment and I have got through the cut and I want to make the most of it and finish as high as I can. It depends how far the guys go this afternoon but I feel I can shoot lower than I did today and if I can do that then I’ll see what everybody ahead of me does. I can only control my own scores if I can put together a couple of seven or eight-unders we’ll see where we get to.
“Today was better than yesterday, the tee time helped. It wasn’t as cold and not finishing in the dark but definitely played a little bit better today, still didn’t putt as well as I normally would but still a couple more days.
“I try not to worry about whether it’s the Open or what event I play. Step one is to make the cut but now that’s done and I will try and push on again tomorrow,” he added bullishly.
The Darwin Escapes professional who shot 57 on the EuroPro Tour in the past reeled off five birdies in seven holes around the turn in what has been dubbed the scoring part of the golf course but he still wasn’t completely satisfied.
“I played pretty nicely today I didn’t birdie both of the par fives again which is disappointing there was one three-putt bogey which was disappointing but it was better around the turn I drove it a lot better today which gave me more chances I wish I got a couple more but definitely moving the right way,” explained Carey who models his game off Bryson DeChambeau with the same cap and single length irons.
Carey’s laid back nature is admirable but perhaps understandable considering he is in bonus territory and set for the biggest paycheque of his career. The pressure to make the cut on the Alps Tour just to earn a fee for the week is something unbeknownst to the world class players around him this week while he has also narrowly missed out on a Challenge Tour card in his career.
“It’s a different situation but this isn’t one of the harder cuts I have made this year. Playing the Alps Tour the cuts are three to five-under every single week so you just get it in your head that if you don’t shoot under-par it is not a good round of golf so it’s a different challenge but it’s still just a golf course and you still have to shoot under-par.”