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US Open

MacDonald supporting Jonathan Lomas

Shropshire’s Jonathan Lomas should have been fishing this week - instead he is taking part in the US Open!

Instead of catching trout on the north Scotland coast of Dornoch, the 37-year-old will be aiming to bag birdies at Pinehurst No. 2 when the 105th US Open gets underway on Thursday. (June 16)

“We had booked a family holiday in Dornoch,” said Lomas, whose wife, Sally, has travelled to America to offer moral support.

“I’m supposed to be fishing this week but then I qualified and had to change my plans.”

Their four-year-old son, John, has still gone on the holiday with his grandma, Marion Duncan, while his parents left Gatwick Airport on Friday.

“I have never played this course before so I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get over the jet lag and start practicing on Monday,” said Lomas, who grew up in Whixhall and is sponsored by Whitchurch-based Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf and Country Club.

“I’m quite excited. It’s a huge event and everywhere will be mobbed with spectators.

“I feel quite comfortable because I have been playing well for the last three or four weeks. I am taking good form with me instead of having to find it.

“This is the first time I have qualified for the US Open and I think it’s the first time for my caddy, John Dempster, as well.”

And Lomas believes the course at one of the world’s top golf destinations in North Carolina should suit his game.

He said: “In the next few days it is going to be more about looking at the course because it is going to be a new experience.

“There are some severe roughs and it should suit my game. The last few weeks on the PGA European Tour have been played on courses like that and I now live in Ayr on the west coast of Scotland so I’m used to those conditions.

“I’m expecting the greens to be a lot faster than normal and if it is hot weather they could be even quicker which is why I decided to go to America early to check everything out.

“I’m trying to approach it like just another tournament - but there are going to be more people watching me than normal!

“I’m going to try and enjoy it. I just want to play to my full capabilities.”

Lomas has been backed by Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf and Country Club in Terrick Road since 1985 when he joined the club as a 17-year-old junior.

“I have known Tony Minshall, the pro at Hill Valley, for 20 years and he has always helped and supported me,” he said.

“Tony and Albert, who jointly own the hotel with Macdonald, are delighted for me and they’re disappointed they couldn’t make it to America to support me from closer quarters.”


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