Open 2014: Chris Rodgers makes cut on Open debut

Chris Rodgers
Rodgers has been a regular on the Asian Tour for the past decade
The Open Championship 2014
Venue: Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake Date: 17-20 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website, mobile & app, and Connected TVs

Chris Rodgers' first Open Championship will continue into the weekend after he shot a one-under 71 to make the cut at Hoylake on level par.

The Londoner had been half expecting to be back in the crowd watching but will now look forward to being "inside the ropes, living it" on Saturday.

"We've got a nice place, and we'd booked it for the week," he told BBC London 94.9.

"You're not just there to make up the numbers. You want to do well."

Exactly how well he will do this weekend may depend on how the Wirral weather behaves.

"It's forecast to rain and the rough is growing every day," he warned.

But Rodgers, an Asian Tour regular for the past decade, has so far shown no qualms in tackling everything Royal Liverpool has had to throw at him - even when the weather started to turn on Friday.

"The course was playing very difficult," he said. "The wind was different. Very bouncy and very fiery.

"It poses very different problems to what I'm used to on the Asian Tour, but my dad's a member at a links course, Royal Cinque Ports, down at Deal, in Kent, so I'm well practised in the quirky shots it needs."

The caddie is not my daddy
Chris Rodgers did originally ask his dad, a 12-handicapper who plays at Royal Cinque Ports, to caddie for him."He was the first person I asked," said Rodgers. "But he's 72 now and he thought it would just be too stressful."

Admittedly, there are two holes that Rodgers clearly has not mastered yet, the first and the 12th, having bogeyed them on both days.

But the only other shot he has so far dropped in two rounds was on the par-three sixth in the second round, after which he carded birdies at 8, 9, 10 and 14 - to add to his one lone birdie at the 15th in Thursday's opening one-over 73.

It all added up to making him the third highest-ranked Englishman going into the weekend at an Open - behind Justin Rose and David Howell.

"I feel very proud," admitted the Twickenham-based PGA teaching professional, whose home course is the Royal Mid Surrey at nearby Richmond.

"Since I started playing golf, like any young kid, this is the one event you want play in.

"The ones in American are maybe out of reach, but this is the one to qualify for. I finally got my chance and here I am."

What is more, for an Open debutant, he is remarkably unnerved by the occasion.

"It's a unique experience being at The Open and not many people get the privilege to do so, but I've played in big events in Asia before, in front of the galleries," he added.

"I'm not too worried about all the people around. It's nice being able to interact with the fans. The kids don't want to see the players ignoring them."

Now, instead of being part of those open galleries, he will be one of those on show.

"We'd definitely have stayed and watched," said Rodgers. "But now all I want is more of the same. Just keep it in play and keep smiling."

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