CARNOUSTIE (Reuters) - Rod Pampling made sure he had a haircut before coming to Carnoustie this week with the Australian determined to reverse his fortunes from when the British Open was last played at the Scottish venue.
Although not as notorious as Jean Van de Velde for his 72nd hole slump in 1999, Pampling will be long remembered as the first man to lead an Open — and then miss the cut.
A 71 in the first round at Carnoustie eight years ago put him top of the leaderboard but then he crashed out of the major with an 86 the next day.
“It would be nice to get my own back on Carnoustie,” 37-year-old Pampling told Reuters on Wednesday. “But there are a lot of players who might be saying that.
“It was nice to lead after day one. I’m thinking of that this week and going out to do well again, although the course is a lot different this time.
“I’m looking forward to playing all four days and maybe I can reverse it — be the leader after four days this time.”
Pampling went for a haircut in between rounds in 1999.
That caused some of his superstitious compatriots to throw up their hands in horror, claiming that it was bad luck to have a haircut during any tournament, least of all the Open, and that he brought his downfall upon himself.
This time the Queenslander had his hair cut before coming to Carnoustie.
“The last time I had a haircut here it wasn’t real lucky,” Pampling added. “I got my own guy at home to do it last week.”