GOLF: Matt Southgate has been boosted by his fine showing at The Open.

The 34-year-old finished joint 23rd at Royal Liverpool after finishing his four rounds on level par.

And Southgate enjoyed every second of the experience.

“It was an extremely special Open Championship at Hoylake this year,” said Southgate.

“The crowds were there in record numbers and the atmosphere was simply electric.

“I played some great golf all week and proved to myself for the first time in a while that I can really mix it with the best players in the world.”

Southgate started with a round of 71 before following up with rounds of 70 and 74.

He then saved the best until last with a final round of 69.

But Southgate was slightly frustrated with the standard of his putting.

“My putter was pretty cold all week which was the only disappointment of the week,” said Southgate.

“Having hit what felt like buckets of good putts very few dropped for me and I seemed to just skim the edge on so many holes throughout the weekend.”

Southgate took 284 shots to complete his four rounds, 13 shots behind champion Brian Harman.

And Southgate was full of praise for the American.

“Brian Harman was such a worthy champion,” said Southgate.

“His winning score was really impressive.

However, Southgate also enjoyed a number of memorable moments.

“My highlights for the week were chipping in on the 18th hole of round two for an eagle three and having woken up at 4am for my 6.35am tee time it made everything feel worthwhile and rewarding,” said Southgate.

“The other highlight was the birdie on the brutal par three 17th known as ‘little eye’ which caused so many players a disaster.

“Having had the woes with the putts not dropping, it brought a big big smile to my face to make a lovely 24 foot putt in front of a massive gallery which was met with one of those famous Open roars from the crowd.”

And there were also several familiar faces watching Southgate.

“It was awesome to have some of my friends and family there to support,” said Southgate.

“I’m not sure where I would be without them and it will be a week that I will remember for terrible weather, an awesome golf course and lots and lots of fun, jokes and laughter throughout.”