By John Huggan
HOYLAKE, England -- To his credit, Bryden Macpherson faced up to and answered every single question. He did so after his opening round of 90 and he did the same following the 80 he shot on Day 2. Dead last of those who completed the first 36 holes of the British Open, it would have been easy for the 23-year-old Australian to invent an injury and so avoid a second hammering from Hoylake, or simply slip away after signing his card. But he did neither.
"Today was better," he said with a smile. "I actually hit the ball in play today. That was the problem yesterday, just getting on the golf course. I actually played pretty well today, enough to be scoring half decent. But I got away from one of the 'feels' I've been using in the last eight tournaments. Don't ask me why. And that has obviously taught me a lesson not to do that again."
Still, whatever the explanation, this was extraordinary stuff from a young man good enough to win the 2011 Amateur Championship and go on to shoot a respectable 71-73 in his Open Championship debut at Royal St. Georges a month later.
A professional since April 2012, Macpherson competes mostly on the PGA Tour China and the One-Asia circuits and earned his way into this event through his T-4 finish in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney, where he finished nine shots behind the eventual champion, Rory McIlroy. His background is pretty cosmopolitan too. His mother, Debbie Mortimer QC, is chair of the human rights committee of the Victorian Bar and one of the most revered legal figures in Australia. And his father writes science fiction novels for a living. So he can play. Just not this week at Hoylake. And, to his further credit, he never gave up.
"This morning I just went through my normal warm-up routine," he continued. "I didn't do anything different. I thought I owed it to myself to do at least that. I went out and played the round to the best of my ability. Today was not to the best of my ability, but it was certainly a lot closer. This is just character building. If you see it as anything more or anything less, then you're looking at it the wrong way. I've never pulled out of a tournament and I plan to keep that for the rest of my career."
Good on y'ah mate.