Paul McGinley may have boosted his confidence with a two-under par opening round of 70 – four off the lead held by Tiger Woods – in the Open at St Andrews but he admitted he has no idea how to play the 12th hole.
The 38-year-old scrambled a four today at the 348-yard hole, which has had 34 yards added to bring hidden fairway bunkers into play, but is not confident he will be able to repeat the feat again.
“It is a really difficult hole. If I was Tiger Woods or Sergio Garcia it is playable, you can just smash the driver and get it up on the green, but I can’t,” said the Dubliner.
“I don’t know how to play that hole, I have no idea. I am going to struggle on that hole all week.
“There is nowhere for me to hit it off the tee unless I hit a five iron off the tee and a seven iron for my second shot. I may have to do that this week, depending on where the wind is.
“Today I hit three wood and hit it in the rough on the left, I had no second shot, hit over the back of the green and two-putted from 50 feet.”
But despite his troubles over the 12th, McGinley was reasonably happy with his round, which coincided with some of the worst wind and a short rain shower later in the afternoon.
He birdied the first from eight feet but then dropped a shot on the 480-yard fourth.
He drove the ninth to within 10 feet of the pin and although the eagle putt did not drop he moved back to one under before doubling that with a six-footer on the 15th.
The two-time Ryder Cup winner missed the par-four 16th front right and opted to putt the remaining 25 yards or so but left his attempt 12 feet short to drop back to one under.
He did what few have managed at the Road Hole so far by landing a seven iron 15 feet from the pin for a birdie and nearly picked up another shot at the last after almost driving the green.
“Overall I’m pleased. There were a lot of good shots out there. It’s the best I’ve played for a number of weeks,” said the two-time Ryder Cup winner.
“It’s nice to play well. The big tournament kicked in and I certainly had a bit of adrenaline starting off the day, which was nice. My game went up a lot of notches today.
“I’m happy. It’s a good score. I feel I’ve got some ball control and I hit a lot of good shots.
“It was a lot tougher in the afternoon but that’s the Open, it’s the luck of the draw. Hopefully we might get it evened up tomorrow.”