Monday 31st August 2020
Joe LONG (ENG) won the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. yesterday beating Joe HARVEY (ENG) 4&3 in the 36 hole Final.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s Championship was postponed from June and limited to a single venue. More importantly the field was reduced from the normal 288 players to 120. The countries represented fell from 34 in 2019 to just 13 this year and 75 or 63% of the players ultimately came from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) lowering the overall quality.
Strong winds and heavy rain on the opening day saw the stroke play qualifying reduced to 18 holes. Stroke play qualifying was introduced in 1983 and this was the first time in 37 years that The R&A have been unable to complete the full 36 holes.
Given the above it would not have been a major surprise to see an outsider pick up the title. The R&A will therefore be delighted that one of the leading amateurs in the world came through their demanding Amateur test.
Joe Long (Photo: Richard Heathcote / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)
Joe Long became the 51st Englishman to win the Championship following most recently in the footsteps of Harry Ellis who won at Royal St George’s in 2017.
The Lansdown G.C. member secured exemptions into the Open, Masters Tournament and US Open in 2021.
With the match starting in 250 days time in May 2021 Joe also guaranteed a place in the GB&I Walker Cup Team. His performances over the last 12 months had probably already assured him of selection so the result has in no way weakened the team.
Joe started the week in Lancashire ranked 102nd and 31st in the WAGR and SPWAR respectively so he was clearly one of the favourites for the title. Long jumped up to 65th and 5th in the WAGR and SPWAR following his victory.
In addition to runner-up Joe Harvey (ENG), Mark POWER (IRL) and Jake BOLTON (ENG), who reached the Semi-Finals, and Callan BARROW (ENG) and Barclay BROWN (ENG), who made the Quarter Finals, all raised their 2021 Walker Cup profiles.
Click here for more information on – The Amateur Championship – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results (GolfBible)
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