The Open: Laird Shepherd first round reaction

British Amateur champion

‘I’m just going to have to buckle down and shoot a low one tomorrow’

THE OPEN: Thursday, July 15th

British Amateur champion Laird Shepherd was pretty pleased with his Open debut as a host of family and friends made the short journey across from Sussex to support the Rye player at Royal St Georges this morning.

The 23-year-old, who was in the fifth group out alongside South Africa’s Dean Burmester and Yorkshireman Danny Willett, finished on four over.

Laird was birdie free but held his round together well after a double bogey on the par three 11th.

He said: “I was pretty happy with how I played the first few holes.

“To three-putt the second was a bit annoying, but on the whole I think I hit the ball better. It was a day when I only just sort of made myself commit to hitting the golf shots and not worrying about what was going to happen. 

“I missed quite a short putt on 14 for birdie, which was a bit annoying. But listen, I’ve enjoyed the whole day. Pretty happy with how I’ve played. Obviously the score is not brilliant, looking at some of the guys. I’m just going to have to buckle down and shoot a low one tomorrow.”

Laird certainly allowed himself to enjoy it.

“The whole experience has been amazing the last few days. Certainly had a nice early tee time to just get up and get going. It was just great to play with Dean and Danny this morning, and yeah, it was just great playing in front of crowds. 

“It was amazing. The support was great.”

His girlfriend Chloe Goadby, The Scottish Amateur champion, was just one of his many supporters and the event certainly has a bit of a home feel for the world amateur No 176.

“I mean, it’s great, yeah. My family stay about an hour and a half from here, so it’s somewhere I’ve played quite a lot and watched Opens in the past. Obviously to be making my sort of major debut at St George’s is brilliant. I love the golf course, and yeah, just very exciting to be a part of it. 

“I just hope to extend that for as long as I can. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit better of a scoring day and try and get four rounds out of it, but it’s been brilliant.

“Yeah, obviously my parents and my girlfriend’s family, as well, are all just very, very supportive, and it’s been great to have them here this week and share it with them.”

  • Laird Shepherd was speaking to the R&A