Long has eyes for only one prize
Michael Long is back at Thurgoona Country Club and has eyes for only one thing – successfully defending his Lincoln Place NSW Senior Open Crown.
The 51-year-old made his debut on the Ladbrokes Legends Tour at this event last year, and it quickly became an unforgettable debut for the Tour rookie.
As a golfer defending a title isn’t something that comes along in a career all that often, unless of course, your name is Woods, so for Long it is something he has been looking forward to for a while.
“I enjoy defending,” Long said. “It’s a wonderful thing to do, but also a hard thing to do.”
“My record hasn’t been great at doing it, but I’ve had the odd one here and there.
“A lot of time you turn up and you remember a lot of the good things you did the year before and you expect it to happen straight away.
“Perhaps you don’t quite knuckle down and get the moment going you need.
Regardless of the added expectations, Long has some fond memories from last year, in particular, his final round chase of Peter Senior who looked like he had a mortgage on the tournament after his opening round 61.
“I had a stretch in the middle of the final round that I played six or seven under, which helped me to bridge that gap,” he smiled.
Long said his first year out on the senior circuit had been an enjoyable experience, two wins to begin his ‘fat belly’ career was consolidated with a win in New Caledonia a couple of months ago.
“I’ve enjoyed it.
“We are lucky in our sport we can do it. We are all competitors and we love the competition. I think it is fantastic and I couldn’t be happier.”
“I know there would be a lot of competitors in other sports looking at us going, ‘Wow, I wish I could do that!’ Just relive it all”.
As for his form and his chance this week, Long was his usual quietly guarded self.
“It’s been a mixed bag over the last month,” he smiled. “The course looks good, the greens are great, let’s just see.”