Andrew Coltart said he was inspired after covering the British Open on the radio the last two years. (Getty Images)
Coltart's move from broadcast booth back to fairway quite successful
Andrew Coltart spent the last two years commentating on the British Open while enduring a career-threatening slump. He qualified his way into the field this year, and opened with a stellar 66.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (PA) – Scotland’s Andrew Coltart, delighted just to be back in the British Open after commentating on it the last two years and failing to qualify for the last seven, matched his lowest-ever round in the championship with a 6-under-par 66.
And nothing gave him more pleasure than getting his drive away safely down the lengthened Road Hole 17th.
Asked how nervous he felt at the moment, the 40-year-old former Ryder Cup player, who has come through a career-threatening slump to be back in the big time, had everybody laughing with his reply.
"Fairly -- there should be a toilet close to that tee," said qualifier Coltart, who despite winning back his European Tour card is still only 408th in the world.
Coltart matched the score of playing partner and 1995 winner John Daly, and between them they had a better-ball of 11-under 61.
"He got off to a flying start and I think it helped me a little bit," Coltart added.
Looking back on his troubled times the last few years, he added: "There was a spell of about 16 missed cuts in a row and you start to wonder whether you're going to make it through the weekend again.
"Doing the radio work at the Open was great because it really inspires you again. You're on the other side of the ropes and you want to be there,” he explained. "It's better than standing in the rain beating balls trying to improve and it helped to get me up to get back out here.
"I think that's probably right up there with one of the best rounds of my career,” he said. “It was a bit of a surprise and this one will be plugged in the memory banks for years to come."
His round included a putt of nearly 50 feet on the sixth for one of seven birdies, his only dropped shot coming on the short 11th.