The security guards hovering about here at Regnum Carya must have missed this bit of daylight robbery.
“I stole something today,” conceded Russell Knox after shoving a one-under 70 into his swag bag during the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open.
From the toil and trouble of being two-over through 12 holes, the Scot managed to get himself into the red figures with three successive birdies at 13, 14 and 15 which turned a grimace into more of a sheepish grin.
“It was just awful early on,” said Scotland’s leading golfer on the world stage. “On the first 12 holes, I didn’t have a birdie putt within 30 feet. I made a great bogey on 10 and made a nice putt for par on 12 after playing the worst hole of my life. I was coming down that hole thinking ‘I’m quitting golf’.”
In this fickle game, Knox’s fortunes turned, however, with a tidy birdie on the 13th. “I hit it to 12 feet and the ball goes in the hole much easier from that distance,” he added with a smile.
That provided the catalyst for a significant thrust as he rolled in birdie putts of 10-feet at the 14th and 15th before a 25-footer on the 17th salvaged his par.
“I have to do better, though, because this was as easy as it will play,” he said of the inviting conditions. “The positive is that I was two-over staring at a bogey to go three-over and I’ve finished under-par. If I go on to have three more good days it’s because of this back nine.”
Knox’s fellow Scot, Stephen Gallacher, also had a 70 as he emerged from his sick bed to post a battling round. “I just took a reaction to tablets I’m taking for a virus,” explained Gallacher. “I started to get dizzy and feel sick. When I woke up on Wednesday, I thought ‘jeez, what’s happening here?’.”
Gallacher is still hopeful of qualifying for the Race to Dubai finale and his one-under round gave him a platform to build on. It was also a decent way to mark his 44th birthday.
“I didn’t get any gifts before I teed-off, not even from Jack [his son and caddie],” added Gallacher. “The wee s*** .”
Source : HeraldScotland