Kjeldsen heads into the weekend in a good place
Soren Kjeldsen has had a chequered career at The Open but he will head into the weekend on a high note after compiling his second sub-70 score in succession.
The 41-year-old Dane opened the Championship with a 67 and in increasingly wet conditions he added a 68 that will see him tee up in the third round nestling handily just behind the leaders on seven under par 135.
Kjeldsen once carded an 81 in sodden conditions in The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2008 but he is now in a much better place after overcoming a golfing mid-life crisis to win last year’s Irish Open at Royal Co. Down and then finish in a tie for seventh at this year’s Masters at Augusta National,
“It was a great day today,” he said. “I played very well in nice conditions yesterday but today it was different.
“I think what helped was that we played the front nine in decent conditions. The wind was against but it was before the rain so I got into a nice rhythm before the bad weather came.”
The Dane picked up three birdies on the 4th, 6th and 17th and did not drop a single shot which was all very different to the period during 2014 and early 2015 when he suffered a serious loss of confidence and form.
“It was very hard,” he admitted. “I never considered not playing golf but I did question if I was ever going to compete because the graph was going down.
“My problem was on the tee shots. I felt very weak and insecure on the tee shots. I was hitting it short and crooked and when you stand and watch guys hitting it 320-yards down the middle you do start to wonder.”
Kjeldsen’s form started to return once came to terms with the fact that he had to play the game his own way.
“I always felt I had so much to improve on and I still feel that. But I had to do it my way. I think some people might think that at 5’ 7” I’ve over-achieved but I’m married to Charlotte and I think I’ve over-achieved in that as well.”
He went on to credit caddie Alistair ‘Squirrel’ Matheson for his part in the revival.
“I team up with Alistair two weeks before the Irish Open and he’s had a huge impact on everything I do,” he said. “He came in with enthusiasm and a great mindset. He’s always looking at what we need to do to get better so it’s no coincidence that my form has changed since he got on the bag.”
Kjeldson and his trusty bagman head into the weekend surrounded by many of the world’s top players but there is no longer any sense of inferiority performing at this level.
“I do,” he said in answer to a question about whether he could win this week. “I don’t think I’m intimidated by anyone. I’ve won the battle within.”