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St Andrews still so special for Ashley Chesters

Ashley Chesters will be aiming to tap into the memory bank when he tees-up in The Open Championship.

England's Ashley Chesters during day one of the Hero Open at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, Birmingham. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 30, 2020.  See PA story GOLF Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use, No Commercial Use.
England's Ashley Chesters during day one of the Hero Open at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, Birmingham. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 30, 2020. See PA story GOLF Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use, No Commercial Use.

The Old Course at St Andrews plays host to the 150th edition of the oldest golf tournament in the world and it's a venue that holds a special place in Chesters' heart.

In 2015, a then 25-year-old Chesters announced himself on the grandest stage of all with a stunning display around on the famous Old Course.

The Hawkstone Park ace, an amateur at the time, finished tied 12th after posting a nine under par total of 279.

On the Saturday and Sunday, Chesters carded rounds of 67 and 69 as he climbed the leaderboard. At one point on the final day, he had an eagle putt on the 10th hole to take the lead.

By his own admission Chesters has been struggling to find his best form this year, although he was encouraged by his display in the Irish Open last week.

He is hoping that confidence booster and the fact he has such good memories of playing St Andrews will spur him on.

"I have got good memories of seven years ago, and hopefully the memories start to comeback when I start," he said. "It's a special place.

"I remember seeing my name high up on the leaderboard. It was a strange experience because going into the week I wasn't expecting to be up there.

"It would be nice to be able to doing something similar again. I have done it once so I know I can do it.

"I have played the Old Course so many times. We had the St Andrew's Links as an amateur tournament, which I played four of five times.

"I played there in The Open in 2015 and a few Dunhill Links tournaments as well.

"I haven't been playing that well recently so I would just like to feel like I have played well and wherever that puts me, it puts me.

"I did actually play better in Ireland last week. Hopefully I have turned a bit of a corner."

Chesters checked in on the east coast of Scotland on Monday and hit the fairways for his first practice round on Tuesday.

And he admits the event just seems to be getting bigger and bigger.

"It's totally changed driving in," he said. "When I came up to play the Dunhill you could see the course as you were driving in but there are so many stands around now that you cant see that much of it.

"There is lots going on. To be fair, it's changed a hell of a lot since 2015.

"The course is he same and the range is the same, but off the course everything seems a lot bigger.

"And Tiger Woods is playing and that always adds to a tournament."

One thing that won't is the impact the weather will have during the four days.

If the sun shines and the wind stays away, then the world's finest golfers will make light work of the course.

"With one-tee starts you can tee off first at 6.40am while the last tee time is 4.30 – a hell of a lot can happen with the weather in that time," added Chesters.

"If it's windy, you have to keep more control of your ball because it can role into some not so nice places round here.

"Hopefully the weather won't make too much of a difference and it will be fair for everyone.

"It's very dry and firm and with it being firm there are quite a few of the par fours that the longer hitters are going to be able to drive.

"Jordan Spieth has already come out and said he hopes it doesn't tun into a chipping competition.

"If there isn't much wind then the scoring could be very low."

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