Saltman Awaits McIlroy Winning Text

Noticing Lloyd Saltman and Rory McIlroy shake hands in the car park of the R & A clubhouse at the close of the 2007 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, no one could have believed the future that lay ahead for the newly turned professionals.

Scotland's Lloyd Saltman - Low Amateur at 2005 Open Championship and two years before Rory McIlroy achieved the same feat at Carnoustie

Saltman had been the Low Amateur at 2005 Open Championship two years earlier at the Home of Golf whereas McIlroy achieved the same feat at Carnoustie earlier in 2007.

However now in the pro ranks, the former GB & I Walker Cup team mates had been afforded invitations into the event billed as a ‘Celebration of links golf’.

Mcllroy watched from the back of the 18th green as Paul Lawrie missed a birdie and quietly celebrated finishing third on his own to wrap-up his full Tour card for the following season in only his second Tour start.

Saltman drove off in an Edinburgh Range Rover sponsored vehicle to ply his trade for the next three years on the secondary Challenge Tour.

Their paths crossed a few time since that October afternoon but then watching TV coverage of McIlroy’s U.S. Open success inspired the 25-year old Saltman that he’s well in contention in the BMW International Open in Munich.

While McIlroy’s name remained atop of the U.S. Open leader board week long at Congressional, Saltman could finally delight in seeing his name on a European leader board for a first time in his pro career.

The Archerfield player birdied the closing four holes of his outward nine on route to a seven under par tally and just three behind the leading pair of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (70) and South African George Coetzee (67).

McIlroy had ‘texted’ Saltman late last year when the Scot finally gained his full European card, and Saltman revealed he ‘texted’ McIlroy straight after his Congressional success.

“It gives you inspiration seeing the guys from that Walker Cup squad doing well, and watching Rory gave me a real lift coming here this week,” said Saltman.

“He did something special in winning the U.S. Open and it really puts into perspective how achievable I think winning tournaments are.

“It was great for Rory. I sent him a text message to say well done and I was so pleased to watch it, and just so pleased the way he played the last round.

“So his win has given me a little bit of belief in knowing these guys who were on the same team in 2007, can win Major’s.

“Not just winning Majors, but blowing the field away.

“And it would be nice, fingers crossed, to get a text from Rory come Sunday afternoon.”

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