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Simon Dyson feeling at home on Irish links course
11:50am Thursday 28th June 2012 in Sport
SIMON DYSON reckons he will feel right at home at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The York-born ace defends his Irish Open title at the Northern Ireland course, starting today, and declared he liked nothing better than playing the links conditions he will face at the Dunluce track – thanks to growing up near to Ganton in North Yorkshire.
“I love links golf – it just suits my eye,” said the Malton and Norton GC star ahead of the first round. “Killarney was a fantastic venue, and I loved playing there last year. But I’ve got to admit, there was a bit of a smile when I heard it was coming to a links course here.
“It’s what I grew up on. Playing amateur golf you play a lot of links golf, and I lived ten minutes down the road from Ganton, one of the better links courses in Britain. So links is my favourite type of golf, by far.
“When you stand on a tee box, you’ve got to visualise the shot. It’s not like on a 500-yard par four where you know you’ve got to hit it 320 yards off the tee – this is more about manoeuvring the ball, which is probably the best part of my game.
“When I’m playing well, I can hit the high draw, the low draw, the high cut or the low cut and I like to visualise every shot. A lot of the courses that we play now are 7,500 yards, which kind of takes that aspect out of the game. So it’s nice to get back to how golf was first played.”
Dyson is part of a marquee three-ball over the first two days of the two million euro European Tour event – the defending champion having been paired with friend, and 2010 US Open champion, Graeme McDowell and three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington. They set off from the tenth tee at 7.50am.
After finishing joint-12th in last week’s BMW International, in Germany, Dyson is confident of putting up a good defence of his crown, which he won in superb fashion 12 months ago at Killarney.
“I made the cut in the US Open for the first time two weeks ago, which was pleasing,” added the 34-year-old. “I had a decent weekend and moved up a little bit. Then I played some really good golf last week. I started to find my swing, and probably if I had been a little bit more match fit, I could have contended.
“But for my second week back, it was a pretty good performance and hopefully I can build on it this week.”