A PEPTALK from his wife Elly inspired Kevin Spurgeon to shoot the lowest score over the first two days of this year’s Senior Open championship at Walton Heath yesterday.

The 56-year-old Ferndown touring professional carded a stunning 66 to rocket up the leader board after a ‘telling off’ from his spouse.

“I told Kevin not to be so negative and just be happy he’s out there playing,” explained Elly, who caddied for her husband from 2005 to 2009.

“We lost our very good friend Bob Boyd (fellow Senior Tour professional) this year with cancer. It puts everything else into perspective,” she added.

Spurgeon, who climbed 90 places to stake a share of 17th on one under par, admitted Elly’s words of wisdom spurred him on after his first-day 77.

“Elly spoke to me last night (Thursday) and gently reminded me about a few things and that I should be grateful to be out here, which helped me focus,” said Spurgeon.

“I’m my own worst enemy and I beat myself up too much after a poor score, although I’m trying to learn not to,” he added.

“I’ve also been working with my friend Jon Adler (sports psychologist) on the mental side of things and it’s paid off today.”

Spurgeon’s six-under-par score knocked an amazing 11 shots his first-round total and set an unofficial ‘course record’ over the new composite course at the club that hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup.

His stunning round began with two tap-in birdies. Further red figures followed at the fifth and eighth holes as he went out in 32.

Even better was to follow though, as he rattled off three more in a row starting at the 10th with birdie three in front of his largest gallery of the day near the refreshment stalls.

The enthusiastic appreciation seemed to drive Spurgeon on as he peppered the flag to yield more birdies at the 11th and 12th.

It proved unlucky 13 for Spurgeon at the next though, as his only wayward drive of the day found the heather.

Spurgeon, unflustered, simply took his medicine and chipped the ball back into play to ensure he limited the damage to a bogey five.

Despite the temporary setback, Spurgeon’s unique yellow ball was once again piercing the blue skies with arrow-like precision as he steadied the ship with two cast-iron pars.

Spurgeon’s only other blemish came at the treacherous 475-yard par four 16th when his approach shot found the greenside bunker.

But he wasn’t going to let that ruin his day as he produced a grandstand finish, by sinking a six-foot putt for birdie at the last in front of an appreciative audience.

Asked about his ambitions for the weekend, a rejuventated Spurgeon quipped: “Two more of those and I’d probably walk away with the trophy!”

Spurgeon was six shots behind the halfway leaders Mark Calcavecchia, Lee Rinker, and Rod Spittle.