Local boy Paul Waring returned to Royal Birkdale today with happy memories of a spectacular week in front of his home supporters when the Southport Links last hosted The Open Championship nine years ago.
Wilson Staff Tour player Paul, who hails from Bromborough on the Wirral Peninsula, qualified for this year’s Open with a joint runners-up finish in the Joberg Open in February and drove a few miles up the road for a practice round ahead of the 146th staging of golf’s oldest Major next month.
Back in 2008, Paul led the tournament after five holes on a wind and rain affected first round and eventually finished tied 19th, after battling it out with five-time Major champion Phil Mickelson during the final round, both finishing with a 71 (+1).
After being plagued by injuries in recent years, Paul has put all that behind him and will tee it up in his first Major championship since The Open nine years ago after an impressive start to the season on the European Tour including a 3rd place finish at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.
“It’s a real pleasure to be back at Birkdale. It’s a course that I love and it really suits my game. They’ve made a few changes since the Open was last here and today has been ideal preparation for when the main event arrives here in a few weeks’ time,” said Paul.
“It was a memorable week back in 08’. I loved playing alongside a great champion like Phil and I hope it happens again this year. It’s going to be a special week with so many friends and family out supporting me.
“It’s been a tough few years, but I’m now fully fit and I’ve enjoyed a very good season so far with my game being back where I want it,” he added.
Paul – who currently sits 41st in the Race to Dubai – joined Wilson Staff in January 2015 and has had four top-10 finishes on the European Tour using the brand’s signature FG Tour irons.
He currently plays the FG Tour V6 irons (3-PW) just like the last Open Champion at Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington. The irons are designed for the golfer who values ultimate feel, precision shot-shaping and feedback. Made from 8620 carbon steel, the irons feature split tungsten weighting through the set offering improved sole camber and bounce for added distance, versatility and optimal ball flight. Paul also plays the brands FG Tour PMP wedges.
For more information on the FG Tour V6 irons and PMP wedges and the rest of the Wilson Golf range visit www.wilsongolf.com