Dyson grabs his Open chance

Simon Dyson didn’t think he’d play in The Open a week ago, but his 1st-round 68 has put him up with the early leaders.

Simon Dyson didn’t think he’d be playing in The 140th Open a week ago, but his first-round 68 has put him up with the early clubhouse leaders.

Dyson, who only came into the field last Friday when David Toms pulled out injured, finished his first round three shots behind playing partner Thomas Bjorn who set the early target with a stunning 65.

The Yorkshire golfer, who until he was called up, thought the main event of this week would be having a cortisone injection in his troublesome back, said: “It’s just nice to be in it (The Open at Royal St George’s).

“I felt really relaxed on the first tee, probably more so than I’ve done the last fee weeks, and it seemed to show in my game.

“The back’s not too bad, but occasionally I get in a position and it hurts so much I just come apart with my shot and block it right.

“I had a couple today, but managed to not find anything too severe.”

Dyson almost holed-in-one at the 178-yard sixth, then added further birdies at the 15th and 17th before driving into a bunker on the last and bogeying like Bjorn.

They are good friends and the 33-year-old said they did not talk about Bjorn’s 2003 near-miss at all.

“It’s not something you really want to bring up, is it?” he added. “I’d never, ever say that to Thomas.”