Colm Moriarty got a major boost at St Andrews - he made the cut with a shot to spare after late afternoon carnage and landed an invitation to play in this month’s 3 Irish Open.
The Athlone star, 31, walked off disappointed with a 73 that left him teetering on the cut line on one-under par. But as winds gusting over 40mph caused mayhem on the links, he made it with a shot to spare.
As an added bonus, he will make his seventh Irish Open appearance in Killarney from July 29.
Initially unsure if he would get an invite to the Kerry venue, Moriarty was shown a text message from his manager, telling him he was in the field.
He said: “That’s a nice little bonus. It will be great to tee it up in the Irish Open again.”
After seven years of struggles on the Challenge Tour, Moriarty was hoping for a good week on his Open debut. But after surging to two under with two birdies in his first 11 holes, he dropped three shots coming home.
His day was made even tougher as he was playing with South African Louis Oosthuizen - the 2002 Irish Amateur Open winner - who added a 67 to his opening 65 to grab the clubhouse lead on 12 under.
Moriarty said: “Louis’ played great, he’s a great player. If he keeps it up he has a great chance for the weekend.
“I never actually played with him in the Irish Amateur Open but I didn’t play particularly well myself today. It was the same thing as yesterday, I didn’t hit it close enough and didn’t give myself enough chances.
“I dropped three shots coming in as well, so it was a disappointing finish all in all.”
Moriarty badly wants to make it to the main European Tour after getting a taste for the big time in the Open.
He said: “It’s been a great experience, absolutely, but I’m disappointed with the way I played really.
“I changed a few things with my swing as well, it’s not easy when you’re coming down the back nine and it’s windy. All in all I’m happy with the direction in which my game is going, but I’m not particularly pleased with the way I played over the two days.
“Obviously I’d love a crack at it over the weekend but if it’s not to be, it’s not the be all and end all either.”
As it turned out, he made it comfortably.