HOYLAKE, England (AP) — On a typical Thursday at 10:30 a.m., John Singleton would be making paints and varnishes in a resin factory. Maybe driving around in a forklift truck.
Not this Thursday morning.
On this one-off occasion, Singleton was 10 minutes down the road at the British Open at Royal Liverpool, whipping up the crowd on the first tee before taking the biggest — and most nerve-wracking — shot of his life.
"I just wanted to enjoy it," the 30-year-old qualifier said, with a huge grin. "I may never get the chance again."
His boss closed the factory and bought co-workers tickets to watch Singleton on his big day. Singleton's friends and relatives were there, too, cheering him on every hole and exchanging remarks with him as he walked the fairways during his opening round.
Singleton wound up shooting a 6-over 78, having been even par after 11 holes. He probably won't be making the weekend at Hoylake but that doesn't matter.
"I shot 6 over, it feels like I shot 6 under," he said. "I just played in the Open Championship.
"I'm not some big-time Charlie who is going to win — obviously I'd love to win — I was there to enjoy myself, soak it all up."
Singleton, a happy-go-lucky Liverpudlian, took his spot in the 156-man field after winning a sudden-death playoff in final qualifying. A slew of knee injuries kept him out for three years, the main reason why he hasn't made it on the professional circuit.
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