Golfer Ashton Turner relives Open Championship dream

Ashton Turner headed to the European Tour after his Open Championship debut
Ashton Turner headed to the European Tour after his Open Championship debut

The Kenwick Park golfer headed to his first Major bidding to make the cut and set up a dream weekend pairing with a golfing superstar, such as boyhood hero Tiger Woods.

Teeing off at the fourth with stablemate and rising star Tyrrell Hatton EMN-180718-171247002

Teeing off at the fourth with stablemate and rising star Tyrrell Hatton EMN-180718-171247002

Turner played no further part after Friday as rounds of 78 and 77 left him 13-over-par - 10 shots outside the cut mark.

But a taste of the superstar treatment has given the Alford golfer the drive and determination to make a swift return to the big stage.

“I loved every minute of it; it was unbelievable,” he said.

“Obviously my golf wasn’t where I wanted it to be, unfortunately, but that’s golf – sometimes you can’t control it.”

Teeing off, with Hatton, Casey and former Open champion Darren Clarke watching on EMN-180718-171237002

Teeing off, with Hatton, Casey and former Open champion Darren Clarke watching on EMN-180718-171237002

He added: “It was a different vibe out there.

“You are escorted from your car to registration and there are people there to get you anything you want.

“Coming from the EuroPro (Tour) I’m used to doing everything for myself.

“It was an incredible experience of what life could be.”

Getting up close with the game’s modern greats also gave the 22-year-old an insight into how to take his game to the next level.

“My game at its best can compete right up there, but when it’s not, the top guys know how to manage that and give themselves a chance to still get a decent score.

“That was one of the big learning curves for me.”

He added: “The course was set up tough. The pins were in places you could make birdies, but if you were slightly wrong you could just as easily make bogeys.

“I didn’t make anything worse than a bogey and wasn’t getting into terrific trouble, but I couldn’t get close enough to make the birdies.”

Another eye-opener was the raft of TV interviews, including Sky Sports, as well as the thousands of spectators, many of whom thronged around the first tee.

“I was incredibly nervous on Thursday,” he said.

“When I walked through the tunnel to the first tee I was pretty calm and almost had to tell myself ‘hang on, take this all in’.

“But then the starter told me I was the last to tee off.

“As each person teed off, I can’t explain how much my heart rate rose. By the time my name was called, I hardly heard my name; I was in my own bubble.

“But I composed myself and got a nice shot away.”

Despite missing out, there was no moping for Turner after arriving back in the clubhouse in the Friday evening dusk.

With a coveted invite to play the European Tour this weekend, in Germany, he stayed on to train.