Calum Hill is hoping to play his way into next week’s field at Royal Portrush after emerging as top Scot at the halfway point at The Renaissance Club.
The 24-year-old from Crook of Devon earned his place in this week’s Rolex Series event by making it through the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open qualifier at Longniddry last weekend.
The Challenge Tour player has made the most of the opportunity with rounds of 68 and 64 for a 10-under total and sits only four shots behind joint leaders Bernd Wiesberger, Lee Slattery and Erik van Rooyen.
With three places on offer for Royal Portrush, Hill is hoping to notch a late entry into golf’s oldest major.
He said: “You try to do as well as you can and if you end up holding that flag then you’ve done your job.
“It is just the same as any other tournament, you go with the highest expectations and try to do your best.
“Honestly, in an ideal world, the best situation would be a spot for next week.
“I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing and we’ll see what happens at the end of the week. There is not much pressure.
“It’s nice to be playing with family watching and around a golf course I seem to quite like.
“I’m happy with all facets of my game so I’d expect to play well.
“I’m frustrated with a few holes but I made a few putts and it adds up to a pretty good round.”
Hill, who made the cut at last year’s US Open, says life on the Challenge Tour has prepared him nicely for this week’s birdie-fest at The Renaissance Club.
He added: “Every week on the Challenge Tour you have to get yourself to 20 under and you might have a chance.
“Some weeks it’s more, some weeks less and if it’s difficult it might be a little less – but most of the time you’re having to keep driving.
“There’s no letting off the gas. It’s really good for setting you up with the mentality to shoot really good scores. Obviously you look at whoever wins.
“It’s usually minimal errors and lots of birdies, so you’re just trying to set yourself to do that.”