Woodhall Spa Golf Club’s Dave Coupland insists he is not at The Open to make up the numbers this week – and is targeting a top 20 finish.
Coupland says shooting for the stars is the only way he will be able to bring his ‘A’ game to Royal Troon.
The 145th Open tees off tomorrow morning (Thursday), with Challenge Tour player Coupland desperate to show he deserves to be sharing the links course with the game’s top players.
“My main goal is to make the weekend, but I’m not going just to make the cut,” he told the Horncastle News.
“A realistic achievement could be a top 20 finish. That’s what I want to do.”
Backing up his target, Coupland insisted that there is no point in qualifying for the competition unless you are serious about being presented with the Claret Jug.
“You have to think big,” the 30-year-old continued. “If you only go there trying to make the cut you can play within yourself and be in and around where the cut is.
“I want to do better than that.”
Since sinking a birdie on the second play-off hole at the qualifier at Southport’s Hillside Golf Club, Coupland has refused to be complacent.
He has spent his time swotting up on the course, watching videos online and researching Royal Troon – just to make sure there are no surprises as his only previous visit to the world-famous course passed him by quite quickly.
“I went there in ’04 with a few friends to watch the Open,” Coupland said. “But I can’t really remember the course.
“I’ve never played it before, so I’ve been watching flyover videos on YouTube to see what to expect.”
This will be Coupland’s second visit to The Open after competing at Carnoustie nine years ago.
And after almost a decade of waiting, he now has the chance to do himself justice, something he believes didn’t quite happen last time.
On that occasion he failed to make the cut by six shots, carding rounds of 79 and 74.
But now he gets a chance to scratch the itch which has been frustrating him for so long.
“Since the last time I was at The Open, I’ve always wanted to get another chance,” Coupland continued.
“It was such a blur that week, I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t take anything in.