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Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 20:16 UK

The Open 2010: Tiley leads English charge at St Andrews

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full coverage details

Steven Tiley
Tiley's only previous Open was at Royal Troon in 2004

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at St Andrews

Steven Tiley struck a bogey-free 66 to end the first round of the Open at St Andrews as the leading Englishman on six under par.

The 27-year-old, playing in only his second Open, picked up six birdies to lie three shots behind leader Rory McIlroy in a tie for third.

"It's a dream start," Tiley, from Kent, told BBC Sport.

"I played pretty well, some putts dropped, I stuck to all my routines and I'm very pleased with the end result."

Tiley would have been playing in a minor event in Switzerland this week if he had not followed the advice of his manager Chubby Chandler.

I learned a lot from my experience at the Open six years ago

Steven Tiley

It was only at Chandler's urging that he opted to try his luck in final Open qualifying at Scotscraig two weeks ago.

But having won his place at St Andrews in a play-off, Tiley responded with the round of his life, going out in 32 thanks to birdies at the first, the fifth, the sixth and the ninth and then picking up two more at 13 and 15 to return an unblemished card.

Despite learning the game on a links course, the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal, Tiley had made it to just one previous Open, at Royal Troon in 2004, when he carded rounds of 71 and 75 to miss the cut by two.

But since then he has undergone a rich variety of golfing experiences playing the Asian Tour.

Not only did he end up a victor, winning the Egyptian Open in 2009, he also did the business off the course.

"I suffered so many attacks from Delhi Belly that I could have been sponsored by Immodium," he joked.

But six years on from Troon, and an older and much wiser man at 27, he already looks on course for a considerably better end result this time round.

"I learned a lot from my experience at the Open six years ago," he said. "But I still would not have played this year had it not been for Chubby Chandler.

606: DEBATE

"I've missed the last three weeks on the Challenge Tour and not made a good start there. And it's such a lottery to get in the Open though final qualifying when you've got 94 players at each venue and only three places.

"It was tempting not to bother trying and to carry on in the Challenge Tour in this week's event in Switzerland, but Chubby told me to go and try for the Open, and it turns out that he was right."

As well as his manager playing a big part, Tiley was also quick to praise his coach former World Cup winner David Llewellyn (who partnered Ian Woosnam to victory in 1987).

"He's made a few changes in the last couple of days," said Tiley. "He told me to stop gripping it so tightly with my left hand. I trusted him and he was right."



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