McKenzie in good shape as he bids for St Andrews glory

Billy McKenzie insists his game is in good shape ahead of the St Andrews Links Trophy today.

Friday, 8th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:31 pm
Rowlands Castle's Billy McKenzie tees off at the 13th at Brokenhurst Manor in his Quarter Final against Rowlands Castle's Tom Robson, at the Hampshire Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands Amateur Championship, on Saturday, June 6, 2015 PPP-151120-144635001

The Rowlands Castle talent is bidding for his second victory of the season at the home of golf.

He clinched the Spanish amateur crown in March.

McKenzie missed the cut by a shot in the English Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Frilford Heath last week.

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However, the former Admiral Lord Nelson pupil isn’t dwelling on that effort too much after assessing his performance with his coach, Simon Andrews.

McKenzie played in the St Andrews Links Trophy last year but missed the cut.

Yet he was suffering from jet lag 12 months ago and won’t have that problem this time around.

And McKenzie is looking forward to returning to a links course.

‘My game is in good shape,’ he said.

‘If you consider last week as a bad week and your missing the cut by one shot then it’s not the end of the world.

‘I spoke to my coach, Simon Andrews, about it.

‘He said if that’s a bad week then you’re not having any problems.

‘It’s when you finish seven, eight or nine-over par when you have a serious issue.

‘He’s said to just keep knocking on the door and those putts that have lipped out will go.

‘We’re back on the links courses now.

‘Normally, I expect those tournaments to be my sort of event because they’re parkland courses and are soft.

‘But I’m looking forward to getting back on the links course and hopefully I’ll do a bit better.

‘I played in the tournament last year and missed the cut.

‘However, I was fresh off a flight from America so I was a bit jet-lagged.

‘I’m a lot better prepared and I’ve had a bit practise on the courses before.’

A good performance from McKenzie would bolster his chances of making England’s six-man team for next month’s European Team Championships.

After Nick Poppleton’s victory in the English Amateur Stroke Play last week, the 23-year-old admitted one berth looked taken.

‘With Nick winning last week, he’s probably in the team now,’ McKenzie added.

‘So that’s one of the spots already gone and it makes it a little bit harder for everyone else.

‘We all want to make that squad and we’re all going to be trying to do our best to make it.’