Yorkshireman Garbutt proves qualified success with a 68

When he had a birdie at the 12th, Ian Garbutt was entitled to feel that he was on top of the world. His drive bounded down the parched fairway, and an immaculate chip to three feet set up a birdie three. The young Yorkshireman's name hit the top of the leaderboard at seven under par.

When he had a birdie at the 12th, Ian Garbutt was entitled to feel that he was on top of the world. His drive bounded down the parched fairway, and an immaculate chip to three feet set up a birdie three. The young Yorkshireman's name hit the top of the leaderboard at seven under par.

His visit to seventh heaven, of course, was short lived. He had his first bogey of the first round at the 13th where he took three putts. Having gone out in 31, he came home in 37. But he was still on the leaderboard, a stroke behind Tiger Woods.

"I would have taken a 68 before I went out," Garbutt said. "When I was seven under I might have expected a bit more but the wind was coming in off the left and it was a lot more difficult. I quite enjoyed it really. I was only nervous on the first tee, when they announced my name and you realise it's the Open at St Andrews in 2000. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?"

As an amateur, Garbutt played the Old Course in the St Andrews Links Trophy. In those days he carried his own bag. "I was 10 years younger and three stone lighter," he said. "The first time I played here I missed the cut by a mile. I didn't really like the course. I did not know where I was going. The next time I came I employed a local caddie. He showed me where to go and I quite liked it. It's one of those courses where you have to know where you're going. There's a certain way to play it."

For the last four years he has had the services of Martin Rowley, a caddie who has been around a bit. "It gets scary on Sunday afternoons," Rowley said, "not Thursdays."

Garbutt won the English amateur championship at Woodhall Spa in 1990, beating Gary Evans 7 and 6 in the final. He graduated from the Challenge Tour by finishing top of the order of merit in 1996 and his best finish since then is joint seventh in the Dutch Open.

An archetypal Yorkshireman, he was born in Doncaster, lives in Doncaster and would die for Doncaster Rovers Football Club. They are now a non-league club. Garbutt, on the other hand, is showing signs of joining the Premiership. Asked during a practice round who was going to win the 129th Open, Garbutt replied: "Who knows? This is golf."

On the eve of the championship, Garbutt attended a party hosted by the golf publishing company, EMAP. "I had a gallon and a half but I had plenty of time to recover," he said.

Invariably Garbutt has to endure the tortures of pre-qualifying for the Open and this one was no exception. He had a bogey at the 18th in the second round at Ladybank, which put him into a five-man play-off for three places. Garbutt got one of them with a birdie at the 18th on his revisit. "Experiences like that should stand you in good stead," he said. Yesterday, from the third hole to the sixth he could not put a foot wrong: birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie.

Nick Faldo is two strokes behind Garbutt following a 70. "It was just difficult to get the ball close to the hole," Faldo said. "It was as simple as that. I putted quite nicely to protect my score.

"Patience is the key here with the crowd and players on other greens. You're all set for a shot and all of a sudden a thousand people start stomping across your intended line of target."

When Faldo was on the 16th, Mark James was on the second, sharing one of St Andrews' double greens. They did not pass the time of day.

It seems that the spat between them, which developed from James' criticism of Faldo during and after last year's Ryder Cup, has worked in Faldo's favour.

"The support I've had over the Mark James issue has been amazing," Faldo said. "I'm taking home literally two bags full of mail. I want to thank everybody for their support. The issue is not dead. It has opened up a can of worms and it needs to be dealt with. The European Tour will have to step in, we've got to have a serious discussion and get it all sorted out."

Faldo, an Open specialist who won here in 1990, retired, inevitably, to the practice range after his two under par round. "I've worked hard on my swing and I need to keep working on it. I didn't feel as comfortable as I would have liked out there so I'll try a few little things and get it right for tomorrow. You still need that little bit of lady luck. On a links it's all very much in the lap of the Gods."

For a while yesterday it was Garbutt, rather than Faldo, who experienced the comfort of such a lap.

News
peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Arts and Entertainment
Written protest: Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has sent an open letter to the Culture Secretary
books
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss