Brendan McGovern tees up alongside a host of star names from the game of golf as The Senior Open Presented by Rolex heads to the Old Course at St Andrews.
The Headfort professional hasn’t enjoyed the best of season’s after his breakthrough year in 2017 but he’s looking forward to the challenge, especially having never played the Old Course in his entire golfing life. However, McGovern is keen to treat the event like any other week and he’ll be hoping to remain level-headed to get amongst the weekend action.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he told IGM. “Whether it’s a Major or not, golf is golf, and golf to me is a numbers game. If you start looking around at who’s playing or where we are you take away from what golf is.
“That might have been a weakness of mine 30 years ago as a young fella playing but I’ve gotten away from that now. It’s taken me two years, I wouldn’t say to get comfortable out here, but certainly to find my feet, knowing what I have to do.
“And I’m loving it. Things have fallen into place. I’ve never played St. Andrews before – never thought I’d ever play it – and now I’m going to play it in a Major event. It’s a nice way to do it.”
McGovern finds himself in hot company, however, and no player is hotter than Berhard Langer. Fresh from an inspired top-25 finish at The 147th Open, he now has his sights fixed on creating history when he reacquaints himself with the Old Course at St Andrews as defending champion.
The two-time Masters Tournament winner, who turns 61 next month, will go in search of an historic 11th Senior Major, after becoming the first person in history to reach the milestone of ten after last year’s Senior Open victory at Royal Porthcawl.
“It’s always fantastic to come back to the Old Course,” said Langer. “It could always be the last time, when you reach our age, you never know when there’s going to be another opportunity.
“It was awesome to be at Carnoustie, and then we play St Andrews back-to-back. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Langer, who earned his place at Carnoustie last week after last year’s Senior Open success, believes he couldn’t have asked for any better way to prepare for what promises to be a tough test on the Old Course.
“It was good just to play on links turf, get the feel of the ground, the sand and the wind,” he said. “I can’t see a much better way to prepare than that. I’m excited about this week and looking forward to it.
“I don’t really remember any vivid details of my first visit to St Andrews. But I remember I didn’t like the course at all. It was one of my first links experiences and I just thought ‘this is not golf’. You’re standing on a tee, you see a couple of sand dunes and don’t know where to go – you hit it and think it’s good, then you end up in a pot bunker and have blind shots.
“Once I got around the second, third and fourth times, it started to grow on me. Later, I really learned it’s a phenomenally designed course and a great test of golf.”
Langer is one of 38 former Ryder Cup players, 20 Major Champions and 23 Senior Major Champions teeing it up at The Home of Golf this week, joining a field which includes Sir Nick Faldo, Tom Lehman, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson and Ian Woosnam.
Brendan McGovern tees up alongside David Gilford and Spike McRoy in round one on Thursday at 07:30 – play well Brendan.