Open surprise package Barclay Brown is amateur who plays in floppy bucket hat

Open Championship surprise package Barclay Brown is an amateur golfer who plays in a floppy bucket hat.

The 21-year-old ended his first round on four under par and was an early leader at St. Andrews after teeing off at 6:45am on Thursday morning. His opening round included a fine long distance putt at the 17th hole to claim a birdie, one of five Brown managed during his first trip round the course.

Brown remains the highest ranked amateur on the leaderboard and is now tied for fourth place with six other players, including Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler.

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Stanford University senior Brown is instantly recognisable on the golf course thanks to his headwear and he sported a camouflaged bucket hat on Thursday.

The English-born amateur hails from Sheffield, the same city as US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. He is bidding to become the first amateur winner of the Open since 1930 after earning his spot at the tournament by being a medallist at the final qualifying event.

He has prepared well for the year's final major, spending the week at a house nearby the course with his family and girlfriend.

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Speaking after his opening round, Brown admitted, via Golf Digest: “Very pleased with that. Very enjoyable. Fortunately, I was able to keep it relatively stress-free.

"I was unbelievably nervous at the start and then once I got through the first couple of holes, yeah, it was nice to kind of calm down a little bit and hit some good shots and just get into it."

The surprise package also revealed that he has received advice from Open winners Nick Faldo and Darren Clarke, adding: "They really said keep it out of the bunkers and get good at hitting 60-foot putts. They should have said hitting 160-foot putts."

Brown will begin Friday's second round four shots off clubhouse leader Cameron Young, who currently leads Rory McIlroy by two shots on eight under par.


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