Club pro steps into the breach at Royal Troon
As the professional at Royal Troon, Kieron Stevenson spent most of the first two days of The 145th Open working in the club shop. Now it looks as if he could end up playing the final two rounds.
Stevenson received a call at 10pm last night asking him to play as a marker for Haydn Porteous because the halfway cut had left the field with an uneven number of players.
The young South African was the first man out at 8.25am today and Stevenson had the privilege of playing with him and marking his card.
In the event, Porteous played well in tricky conditions. After 17 holes he was five under par for the day, only to go out of bounds at the last after getting a flier from the rough. Even so, a round of 68 was no mean feat.
This was a day Stevenson will never forget; “I knew I’d be playing if we had an odd number of players making the cut,” he said. “I’d not been watching because I was busy in the shop. In fact I’ll be in the shop this afternoon and back to normal.
“It was the most enjoyable round I’ve ever played. It was also the most nervous I’ve been on the first tee. I played all right but I didn’t score because I didn’t want to get in Haydn’s way. I picked up a few times.
“We got round in good time and I think it worked in his favour being on his own. He played beautifully and was great to watch. The grandstands have been up for three months, so I’ve played a lot with them there. It was different, though, playing in front of people.”
Porteous was equally impressed. “Kieron’s a really nice guy,” he said. “We had a good laugh and he kept the round nice and light-hearted.”