Scots Six Chase Open Glory at Lytham
Former Open champion Sandy Lyle will begin Scotland’s six-strong bid for Open Championship success at Royal Lytham & St Annes tomorrow.
The 1985 winner at Royal St George’s is out early in Lancashire just after 7am, with two other ex-Open winners, American pair Todd Hamilton and Marc Calcavecchia.
Aberdonian Paul Lawrie, tipped by many to have a good week over the links, follows next at 8.31am in the company of US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and South African Tim Clark.
Lawrie has a habit of thriving in unfavourable weather, his famous Open win at Carnoustie in 1999 was hardly played in glorious conditions, and he is looking forward to the Major challenge in predicted tough conditions this week.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see bad weather – you want to see sunshine, ideally. But, if it’s nasty then, it’s nasty – there’s not much you can do about it,” said Lawrie, Scotland’s top-ranked player for the first time in his career.
“It’s the same for everyone and you should just get on with it. The Open is always the best week of the year, regardless of the conditions."
Tiger Woods and defending champion Darren Clarke are among those who have claimed the Lytham rough is “absolutely brutal” and “almost unplayable” in places.
Lawrie, the World No. 31, added: “It is what it is. It’s not going to change now, so you have to get on with it. You just have to hit it a bit straighter. That’s the plan.”
Of the other Scots, US-based Martin Laird, ranked No. 37, is paired with two tour stateside colleagues in Jason Dufner and Kevin Na at 10.15, before East Lothian’s Elliott Saltman, who came through qualifying, goes off 55 minutes later with Dale Whitnell and Sam Walker.
Meanwhile, former Scottish Amateur champion Steven O’Hara, playing in his first Open Championship after also progressing via qualifying, tees off at 11.21 in the company of Bob Estes and Brendan Jones.
Aberdonian Richie Ramsay, a prolific winner in the SGU ranks, is the final Scot to start tomorrow, beginning at 15.38 with Jbe Kruger and Andres Romero, who finished third in the 2007 Open at Carnoustie.