Spalding golfer Darryn Lloyd achieves a lifetime ambition when he competes in the Open Championship at Muirfield today.
The 24-year-old South African, who emigrated to South Lincolnshire when he was 15, will line up against the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.
Durban-born Lloyd, who practices at Burghley Park in Stamford, plays on both the Sunshine Tour in South Africa and EuroPro Tour in the UK and Ireland.
He earned his place in the oldest of golf’s major championship by finishing third in the 36-hole Africa International qualifying event in Johannesburg.
He was attached to the Toft Hotel Golf Club in Bourne after emigrating but now has followed his coach Mark Jackson to spend several days a week honing his game at Burghley.
“Just being here is as good as it gets,” said Lloyd when asked about his prospects in the 143rd Open Championship.
“I’m playing nicely and finished sixth earlier in the week in a EuroPro event in Scotland so I’m really looking forward to this.”
He is due to tee off in the last group today at 4.13pm, alongside Stephen Dartnell from Australia and Daisuke Maruyama of Japan.
His tee time on Friday is 11.12am, when he’s hoping he can be among the 70 players who make the 36-hole cut and challenge for a lion’s share of the £5million prizemoney.
“The course is tough as you would expect but it’s very fair. The fairways are narrow, firm and running and the rough in parts is thick and deep. Add in the factor of the wind and there’s no let-ups,” said Lloyd, who will have Toft member Scott Freer as his caddie.
“I’m trying to treat my preparation as a normal tournament and see what happens.”