The Open: Joe Long first round reaction

Joe Long recorded a 73 on his Open debut at Royal St Georges oday

‘He gave me some great bits of advice and I was picking his brains on some things’

THE OPEN: Thursday, July 15th

2020 British Amateur champion Joe Long is certainly “enjoying the ride” this week and he gave his army of supporters at Royal St George’s plenty to smile about at the 149th Open Championship this morning.

Playing alongside the 2011 champion Darren Clarke, the Gloucestershire player shot a superb approach at the first to set up a three and also helped himself to a couple of twos on his way to a 73 (+3).

Also playing alongside Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, Joe revelled in the ‘Open experience’ with 32,000 spectators thronging the fairways at the Kent venue.

Yeah, it was great to play in front of a home crowd,” he said. “It’s obviously the first time for a while. When I won the British Am last year there were no crowds. 

“My family are all there watching me for support, and yeah, it definitely is an amazing feeling and I just loved every second of it.

“There were some nerves on the first tee, excitement, and a mixture of emotions. 

“Obviously got off to a nice start. I drove the ball exceptionally well apart from one tee shot really. Just the putter let me down today I felt.  Just really couldn’t get the speed of the greens and it started to get in my head a little bit, and that was kind of it really.”

The Bristol player also wasn’t shy in coming forward when it came to asking for advice from the former champion and Ryder Cup hero.

Joe added: “Yeah, it was awesome. I think it made it so nice for me because he (Darren Clarke) was so friendly. He gave me some great bits of advice and I was picking his brains on some things.

“He was just a real down-to-earth guy, and made my experience a lot more enjoyable out there as well and settled me a bit, which was good.”

Joe Long was speaking to the R&A