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Golf Tourney "A Fantastic Experience" for Portpatrick Pro

PORTPATRICK golfer Euan Little was pitched onto the world stage at his first ever British Open last week.

And after watching the little known American Ben Curtis lift the Claret Jug in front of packed galleries at Royal St George's, Dunskey professional Euan emerged with a desire to lift his own Major title one day.

Euan missed the halfway cut after scores of nine over 80 and six over 77 in the opening rounds of the 132nd Open.

But on a course in which only the rookie Curtis managed to beat par after four rounds, Euan's performance was more positive than his score suggests.

On a flying visit home before jetting out to the Irish Open at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin, on Monday evening, Euan told the Free Press his first Open experience was an eye opener.

"That has to go down as the highlight of my career so far" said the 27-year-old from Mahaar Farm, Castle Kennedy.

"It was a fantastic experience. I was standing on the first tee and the big names were going out just after me so the fans were all jostling for positions in the galleries.

The atmosphere was really electric at that stage.

Thankfully I parred the first hole and that calmed my debut nerves".

Indeed Euan, who progressed from the final qualifying with a course record equalling 67 at Royal Cinque Ports near Dover last Monday, found himself at one-under par after eight holes in Thursday¹s first round.

But, as with most of the bigger names, his score fell apart on the unforgiving back nine.

"I played 30 or 31 of the holes well and just made five or six impatient errors"he said.

"To finish at nine over after the first round was very disappointing - I was actually embarrassed when I stood on the first tee on Friday.

"You have got to be patient in that type of situation and I just made a few errors".

And he could not resist a dig at the course design saying it was "gimmicky", overloaded with blind shots and awkward pin positions.

Now Euan, without a win on the Tour this season, needs another £100,000 to retain his Tour Card for another year.

But he knows that is not beyond the realms of possibility after watching American Curtis walk off with the Claret Jug on Sunday.

"As Curtis showed last week it only takes four good rounds to make your money.

"You always dream of these things happening but he has proved it really can.

"You can say what you want about the experience and everything but it just heightens the fact that you are capable of keeping up with the big boys in golf"

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