2017 Open Championship on the BBCVenue: Royal Birkdale Dates: 20-23 JulyLive: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary and follow text updates – including in-play video clips – on BBC Sport website and mobile app. TV highlights on BBC Two. Click for full times.It is the summer holidays, you are 20 years old and your father asks if you fancy a few days’ golfing.It sounds like the sort of plan any normal golfing dad and lad might hatch.But not if your father’s former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst – and the three weeks he had in mind for his eldest son Sam included the job of being his caddie at the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
It was at Carnoustie almost a year ago when this father and son combination dovetailed to such good effect for the first time to win the British Seniors Open – and earn 51-year-old Broadhurst the added prize of a belated chance to play this week in his 16th Open.”Every dad dreams of winning a big tournament with his son on the bag,” Broadhurst told BBC Sport.I’ll skydive with the jug if I win – StensonRose wants return to innocence at BirkdaleOpen 2017 tee-times – first & second rounds”It was quite emotional with Sam working for me, and having the rest of the family up there in Scotland too.”I said at the time that these sort of things don’t normally happen to people like me. I’ve been around a long time, won some events and played in the Ryder Cup.”But I’ve never been one of the real, top, top players. So, for someone like me to come along and win a Senior Major was really special.”
‘I thought my Open days were in the past’Having played last week in the United States, where he now plays regularly on America’s more lucrative Champions Tour, Broadhurst’s success has meant a tough four-week schedule.Baltimore last week, Birkdale this. Then on to Royal Porthcawl, in South Wales, to defend his Seniors title before a week at North Berwick in the Scottish Seniors Open. And now he has Sam at his side for the majority of it.”I’ve got a regular caddie in the States, but Sam deserved to do these next few weeks, having done so well for me at Carnoustie.”He knows how far I hit it. He knows my game pretty well. And I’ve got my coach Tim Rouse here for a couple of days. I’ve got good people behind me, I’ve always had a relatively decent record in the Open and I’m very much looking forward to this week.”I probably thought my Open Championship days were in the past, since playing my last one at Lytham in 2012. But, five years later, I’ve got another go at it and it’s a course I think I can play well on, weather dependent.”It’s tough, but not necessarily a bomber’s track and I think a senior like me can get it round.”Life across the Golden PondBroadhurst tied for 17th in Southport when he played his only previous Open on this golden, golfing stretch of West Lancashire coast in 1991, finishing nine shots behind the winner, Ian Baker-Finch.But he has been playing steadily on the Champions Tour in America as he and wife Lorraine adjust to an exciting new life in their own private over-50s club.Apart from all the former American legends, he has fellow Europeans Bernard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jesper Parnevik, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie, Roger Chapman and Miguel Angel Martin to contend with.And it means a routine which currently involves three weeks out of every four away on the road, with his eldest daughter as “acting nanny” to their youngest son.”It can be a lonely place if you’re struggling,” he said. “But I’ve not struggled in many. I’ve had some good first-day scores, shot under par every time.”The Sundays haven’t been great when, if you’re not scoring four under or better, you’re out of it. But I’ve been on the leaderboard and my game’s not far away. I’ve been putting better the last three or four and I’ve earned my place.”Not to mention more than $400,000 (£307,000) – to stand 25th in the rankings, well in contention for the US Seniors’ end-of-season finale, the Schwab Cup.Broadhurst concerned over his Open record
Aside from his rare claim of being unbeaten in Ryder Cup combat (played two, won two at Kiawah Island in 1991), Broadhurst’s other main claim to golfing fame is a joint share of the lowest-ever round scored in an Open, or any Major in fact.He emulated Mark Hayes, Isao Aoki and Greg Norman when he shot his nine-under 63 in the third round at St Andrews in 1990. Since then, six more have matched that 63, including both last year’s runner-up Phil Mickelson, in the first round, and last year’s winner Henrik Stenson, on that final memorable record-breaking day, at Royal Troon.”People have been getting close the last few years,” admits Broadhurst. “And, if we do get good weather, there’s every chance it could go.”Mickelson had a go last year, then Stenson and Justin Thomas in the US Open had a good chance. It’s just hanging on. Get a relatively calm, sunny day and then an eight-under 62 is definitely on the cards.”My share of it has lasted 27 years. But the weather could get up. And, hopefully, it won’t go this week.”Alerts: Sign up to get golf news sent to your phoneMy Sport: Sign up to follow golf news
Source: BBC Black Country