Covid-free David Carey back to scene of his Open heroics after being invited to DP World Tour event

David Carey returns to the scene of his Open Championship heroics this week, but he also has his eye on the American dream.

e Dubliner (26) brilliantly won his qualifying final for the 150th Open at the Fairmont St Andrews and after entering the top 20 of the Old Course he won a sponsor’s invitation to compete in his first regular event of the DP World Tour. this week.

He joins Jonathan Caldwell, Simon Thornton, Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne in the €1.75m Hero Open at the Fairmont St Andrews, looking for another big week as he prepares his game for Q-Schools European and Korn Ferry Tour.

“It’s great to go to a course where I won three weeks ago,” he said of the Fairmont St Andrews where he topped the open qualifier by four strokes. “It’s fantastic to play my first DP World Tour event there, and hopefully I can continue the form I had last time.”

After testing positive for Covid on his return from St Andrews, he wonders if it might have affected his performance on the Old Course, where he followed rounds of 72 and 67 with a pair of 73s tied for 62nd on three under, one shot better than Masters champions Sergio Garcia and Hideki Matsuyama

“It’s very hard to know,” added Carey, who is now exempt from the penultimate Q-School event for the PGA Tour’s second-tier Korn Ferry Tour. “I just know that on Sunday all my numbers were down and we just put it down to fatigue. It may be a coincidence.

“The weekend was still disappointing, but overall it was a step forward. Going there, I didn’t know what to expect. It was very different from TV. I was less than an hour behind Tiger on Thursday and as I played seven and eight he was going down 10 and 11 and had these roars which was a new experience.

“Everything was so new and different and to be able to qualify for the weekend in the top 20 was awesome. I didn’t have the best draw, I finished in the black on Thursday so there was a lot of different challenges that were unexpected.

“But competing with the best players in the world shows that’s where I should be. I was probably a little hard on myself over the weekend, just out of disappointment. But two 73s weren’t a disaster complete.

While he would normally play the Irish Challenge at K Club this week, he has a chance to once again show his mettle alongside the big guns.

Having missed four Alps Tour events due to The Open and Covid, he is looking to take advantage of Challenge Tour invitations before heading to the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School in October.

“I think it would be a good fit for me,” he said of USA. “I had three top 10s in five winter events in Florida and would love to try Q-School again after missing the first stage last year.”

Christy J. Olson