Australian battler Scott Arnold has reeled off a stunning late charge to make the cut in his first major championship at the British Open in St Andrews.
Arnold, who plays on the secondary European Challenge Tour, looked dead and buried at three-over par through 11 holes of his second round but the New South Welshman dug deep and rattled off four straight birdies to give himself a cushion.
A bogey on the penultimate hole meant a par down the last would be enough and when he tapped in for his four the smile was as big as if he’d earned the Claret Jug.
“I’d have to say it probably was one of my best performances under the circumstances, your first major, playing here and sort of being nowhere, really, after yesterday,” The 29-year-old Arnold said.
“When I birdied 12, 13, 14, 15, I didn’t really want to think ahead because I knew that 16 and 17 really are potential bogey holes.
“I was very proud of myself, really, how I played, especially under the pressure that I was under to try and make the cut.”
Arnold is now guaranteed a paycheque bigger than anything he has won this year and will play the third round with former champion David Duval.
A couple of other Australians playing late in tough winds also proved worthy of the fight with Greg Chalmers defying his form this season to make a much needed cut.
The West Australian is just seven off the lead after rounds of 70 and 71 and has rediscovered some much needed confidence.
“You have moments sometimes where you think I don’t know if I am good enough to do this here or there and the last two days I have played some really nice golf against the best players in the world, so that has been really exciting,” Chalmers said.
“I only have upside this week but you never know when that can be fixed. I am going to do what I always do and put my best effort in and see what result we get.”
John Senden also rode the tightrope on the back nine but managed to par the last four holes to get in on the number, ensuring 11 of the 15 Australians made the cut.