Danny in need of confidence boost
GOLF: DANNY Barton is to see a sports psychologist after failing to make it through to the final qualifying rounds of the Open Championship that starts at Royal Lytham on Thursday.
DANNY Barton is to see a sports psychologist after failing to make it through to the final qualifying rounds of the Open Championship that starts at Royal Lytham on Thursday.The Suffolk county player equalled the new amateur course record at Copt Heath – a four under par 67 – in his practice round.But when it came to the regional qualifying round itself, Danny limped in with a 75.Now he has decided it's time to go and see a sports psychologist, something many of the top names in golf do on a regular basis, as well as other sports stars.Danny said: "I want to build up my confidence and have a trust in myself. I found I couldn't relax during my qualifying round. I never had complete freedom in my swing because I was all tense."Going to see a sports psychologist will definitely help because golf is such a mental game. It will give me more self-belief."Danny was one of three Rushmere players that had a crack at trying to make it through to the final qualifying rounds of the Open Championship.Kevin Eagle shot a respectable three over par 73 at Northamptonshire County Golf Club on his first-ever Open
qualifying appearance while James Wright missed out for one of two reserve spots at Hadley Wood.It was like a slow torture for James after returning a one under par 71 at the north London course.He said: "I had to hang around for such a long time after completing my round waiting to see if I would be required for a play-off."I sat in the car and had a nap for a while, but when I had to come out for the three-hole play-off I couldn't pump myself up."In fact, James three-putted both the first and third play-off holes to leave him to reflect on what might have been.In his actual round, James was two under par at the turn, but played what he described as mediocre on the inward half.For Kevin Eagle, standing on the first tee, waiting to hit the first shot was a nerve-racking experience in itself.He said: I was the last player of our three ball to drive off and I hit my tee shot down the middle which relaxed me a bit. "I played well throughout my round from tee to green, but couldn't get the ball in the hole."Kevin's playing partners were two professionals – Simon Wood from Leicestershire and Anthony Norman of Gt Yarmouth, but it was the Rushmere amateur that came out on top in that trio.Kevin had a 73, Wood a 75 that was made to look not too bad by a birdie, par, eagle finish, while Norman could do no better than an 83.Kevin, who had Rushmere member John Wall as his caddie, said: "The Northamptonshire course was completely different from Rushmere. The fairways were as good as our greens. There were huge slopes on the greens and if you got the ball in the wrong place, you did well to two-putt!"It had cost Kevin £95 to enter but he felt it was money well spent if only for the experience. As long as he is off scratch by the time it comes to enter for the 2002 Open, Kevin would like to have another crack at trying to reach the final qualifying stage.At Northamptonshire County, there was a field of 120 with only the top eight players going through to the final qualifying stages. But at least Kevin finished in the top third which was no mean feat.