The Open 2011: Rock refuses to blame the weather

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Royal St George's
Robert Rock
Rock is now hoping to secure a top-10 finish at Sandwich

Midlander Robert Rock slipped out of serious Open contention with a third round 74 at Royal St George's.

But the man from The Belfry refused to blame the inclement weather in Kent.

"Two under by Rickie Fowler is a wonderful score in those conditions but level par was doable. And I'm really disappointed," Rock told BBC Sport.

"I'll go out tomorrow and have a go at making it into the top 10 and coming back next year. But that's not what I came here for."

He added: "I've had decent finishes at The Open which gives you a taste for something better."

The Staffordshire-born European Tour pro, 16th at Royal Liverpool in 2006 and seventh at St Andrews a year ago, still had high expectations having made it through to halfway on level par following rounds of 69 and 71.

But, having got through the worst of the weather to reach the turn in 37, he let it slip with bogeys at 10 and 11.

"On the fourth I got the strongest rain and strongest wind and barely made it over the mound off the tee, so that was guaranteed bogey or worse," he said.

"Then I slipped on something on the ninth, the ball went miles right and I managed to save a par.

"But I bogeyed 10 which is not a really hard hole, then I again bogeyed 11, which I have played awfully this week. I'll learn how to play that hole one day.

"I played OK coming back but the damage was done by then."

Rock did make his first birdie of the round at the long 14th, but he then let one more shot go at 15.

And, although he can point to the pleasant psychological memory of a closing final day 69 at St Andrews a year ago, he has still left himself with an uphill battle to make that revised top-10 target.