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Bradley Neil's Open Championship Blog: A Spine-tingling Experience

19 July 2014 13:32 BST

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This year’s Open Championship has ended two days earlier than I wanted but I am going to take a lot of positives out of the week.

I’m disappointed to have scored rounds of 79 and 76 and to miss the cut but I’m proud of the fact I battled to the end and finished with two birdies. The problem was that I got off to a bad start on the opening day and never managed to recover. But I have learned a lot from the experience and that is something that I will be able to use next year at Augusta and the US Open and all the other big events I may play in the future.

Standing on the 1st tee on Thursday was a spine-tingling experience and something I will never forget. I think I will always be a bit nervous in situations like that but the next time I experience that sort of thing it should be easier to handle. It will be the same at Augusta. It’s going to be incredible. A lot of the Americans won’t know who I am but I hope what I have learned here will help me to perform a bit better over there. I’d like to think they will know who I am before the end of the week.

It’s good to get my first Major out of the way. It has been a fantastic experience. I’ve played with a lot of top players like Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher this week and it’s been great to see at close hand just how these guys play and go about their business.

The good news is that I know now that I’m not that far away. I do a lot of things almost as well as them but have more to learn in other areas. The big difference is experience. They know how to manage their games better than I do and how to handle the pressure in big events like these. I’m still learning but that’s not surprising because I’m at the start of my career.

This is the best event I have ever played in. You’re so well looked after the whole week. You’re made to feel like royalty and it’s something I look forward to experiencing many more times in the future. In the meantime I’m going to join my girlfriend and family in Portugal. Once I’ve had a few days rest I will get ready for the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship at Downfield and all the other big events before the end of the year.

The Scottish Amateur will be a bit strange after everything that’s happened here. I will be trying hard to win it but I won’t beat myself to death if I get knocked out early because I have a lot of big events to play in before I think about turning pro.

Now is the time to reap all the rewards I got from my win in The Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush. This is just the start. This is just the first step. I didn’t take as big step as I wanted this week. It’s a minor step but an important one. I’m always progressing. By the time I turn pro, whenever that may be, I know I will be ready.

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