Cornish golfer Rhys Enoch has reflected on an “unreal” week at the US Open.

Enoch, who represents Wales but was born in Truro, scored seven-over-par over the four rounds to finish 71st in his third major competition and first stateside at the famous Pebble Beach course in California.

Twenty-three-year-old American Gary Woodland was the overall winner, scoring 13-under-par to win by three strokes from compatriot and defending champion Brooks Koepka and seal a maiden major title.

“[It was] Pretty unreal really,” Enoch said. “It’s one of the nicest places you could ever wish to play golf, let alone play in a major championship there. It’s so special, it really is.”

The Truro Golf Club regular was making his debut in a US major competition, after his two previous major appearances came in the Open. He missed the cut at Royal Liverpool in 2014 before finishing joint 56th at last year’s tournament at Carnoustie.

“It’s all new, you’re not in your comfort zone, different grass, different environment, different time zone, it’s all a bit different but it’s fantastic to get that experience under your belt, and the nice thing for me is that I feel like I belong there.

Enoch sealed his place in his maiden US Open after coming through sectional qualifying at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey on June 3.

With the first day of the competition just ten days later, Enoch had little time to sort everything out and get in some practice before the first round, something which was even more difficult after he came down with glandular fever.

“I got a bit stressed in the lead up,” he said. “I was doing too much, running about, trying to sort everything out and my old glandular fever came back and slammed me in my glands and my throat and then it moved to my chest, so that wasn’t fun.”

He managed to play 18 holes on the Sunday and a further nine on the Monday, but illness rendered him unable to play again before he teed off at the first hole on Thursday.

That lack of practice played a big part in him shooting a seven-over round that left him near the bottom of the leaderboard.

“Not ideal but I didn’t have a choice,” he said, “I was like a zombie so I had to try and get as much rest as I could!

“I just had no rhythm, no timing. That golf course is not easy on the best of days and it can go south really quickly without you actually doing a lot wrong and it just got a bit out of hand really quickly without me feeling like I was doing much wrong.”

That seven-over first round meant that a special second round was needed on the Friday if Enoch was to make the cut, and that is exactly what he delivered.

Despite still suffering from the effects of glandular fever, Enoch shot a five-under-par round of 66 to rise up the leaderboard and make the cut.

Only eventual champion Woodland and 2016 Olympic champion Justin Rose scored a better round during the tournament, who, along with Tiger Woods in 2000, are the only three people to have ever beaten Enoch’s round on that course in a US Open.

“I couldn’t believe the stats they were throwing at me. It didn’t feel to me like it was that good a round.

“As far as I was concerned it was just a really solid round of golf, which I suppose shows, when I’m playing well, where my level is now at which is exciting.”

“The round didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts because I was feeling worse than ever on Friday and I was almost accepting defeat and feeling sorry for myself and I hit a terrible shot in the first from the middle of the fairway, made a bogey with only a wedge in and I was just not in a good place.

“I managed to par two and I said to my caddy on three, ‘just because I feel this bad it doesn’t mean I have to have a bad attitude, and if I could at least try and enjoy being here and everything else’.

“I hit a nice drive down the fourth which is quite a sure par four and I got up by the green and I managed to chip and putt for a birdie, and then I hit the green in the fifth which is quite hard to do and then I’ve knocked on in two on six and holed it for an eagle and all of a sudden the adrenaline kicked in.

“I started to perk up an then I birdied seven, birdied nine and all of a sudden I had a really good round going.

“I was laughing with my friend, saying, ‘why don’t doctors prescribe adrenaline when you’ve got a cold’, because it seems to work!”

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He followed that up with a par third round on Saturday alongside 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed to consolidate his position, before a five-over-par final round saw him finish 71st.

“It was horrible to finish with that score but I had to just enjoy where I came from because I had no right to be there really,” Enoch said. “Next time I’m in that position it’s just one more time, it’s more experience, it’s more comfort.”

That next time could be as early as next month, when the 2019 Open Championship takes place at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

“That is a big target, I’ve qualified twice for that now and I know the venue,” Enoch said. “I hope I get given Notts again [as a qualifying venue] because I really like that, but yeah it’s exciting and I just want to give it my all and see if I can get to Royal Portrush.”

Enoch's ever-increasing profile has in turn seen a spike in the interest in Cornish golf, something which the Truro-born golfer is happy to see continue.

“I love representing Cornwall, I spent the first 19 years of my life there, I love it so it’s fantastic," he said. "It’s nice that my achievements can bring a lot of Welsh and Cornish some real joy and inspiration, that means a lot and that’s really cool.”