HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - On Saturday, David Hearn got about as much TV time as he is going to get at the British Open this week.
Unfortunately, the Brantford, Ont., native didn’t actually make it on television.
He did make a nearby TV tower, though.
Hearn hit a wayward three-wood that landed atop a television tower on the 10th hole – and strangely enough the ball stuck there.
The 35-year-old Canadian was hitting his second shot on the reachable par-5 hole when it just got away from him.
“That was entertaining, I guess, wasn’t it,” Hearn said after finishing up his third round at Royal Liverpool at one-under-par 71 for a three-round total of two-under.
“I hit a great drive, it’s the first time I’ve found the fairway there this week, but mishit a three-wood pretty poorly and got a good break,” Hearn said.
He said he didn’t quite know how it ended up staying where it did.
“When I miss a shot, I look away pretty fast,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t really see it, but I believe it landed in the top of the tower and rattled around for a little bit.”
Luckily for Hearn, he was able to get a good drop and had a good look at birdie after putting his approach close.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite complete the story. I lipped it out,” Hearn said.
Hearn now sits in a tie for 31st and 14 strokes behind leader Rory McIlroy.
Along with the par at 10, Hearn’s card included two birdies, coming at Nos. 6 and 18, and a bogey at the eighth hole.
“I hit lot of fairways and greens,” he said. “I really didn’t get the ball very close to the hole today. I needed a few 20- and 30-footers to drop today to make it a really good day. But all in all, I played pretty solid and hopefully I’ll be able to go at a few more pins tomorrow. Overall, I just didn’t give myself enough really close chances.”
Hearn went out in rainy conditions at 9:22 a.m. local time after the British Open began with an unprecedented two-tee start on Saturday. He began his day on the first hole with playing partners Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open winner, and Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden and reeled off five straight pars before picking up his first birdie of the day.
The stormy conditions the R&A had feared would play havoc with the round had more or less relented by 10 a.m.
“The conditions were tough early but then the course didn’t play quite as hard as it did all week after that,” Hearn said. “We had to be prepared for anything today, we had every possible scenario in the bag today. It was a bit of challenge starting off in the rain today and if it had of stayed like that all day, I think the scores would have been higher. Who knows what tomorrow holds.”
The weather was certainly more like you would expect from links golf on the northwest coast of England: Rainy, wet and gloomy.
It wasn’t cold, however, and the wind didn’t blow at all.
Hearn made it into the Open field after Mark Calcavecchia, who also won at Troon in 1989, was forced to withdraw because of some mix-up with the airline company he was using in the United States, and the Canadian has certainly made the most of his experience.
Hearn said there is no doubt in his mind that he can shoot a sub-par round again on Sunday.
“I felt really in control of my ball today,” he said. “If I go out and do the same things again tomorrow, I know it’s going to be even tougher as far as pin locations and things like that, but if my putter gets a little bit hot I can definitely shoot a few under par and move up that board.”
Hearn’s compatriot, Graham DeLaet, failed to make the cut after stumbling to a second-round 76. DeLaet’s two-round total of plus-3 was one stroke outside the plus-2 cutline.