The first tee of the Open Championship can be a very nervy place so it was always reassuring to see a friendly face in Ivor Robson.
He was a legend of our sport and I was sad to read that he has died at the age of 83.
Ivor, who was from Moffat, was the official starter at the Open for 41 years. His first Open was at Carnoustie in 1975 and his last was at St Andrews in 2015.
His voice was iconic and instantly recognisable.
He was loved by the players and it was no surprise to see some of the game’s greats, including Tiger Woods, paying tribute to him.
He was a true gentleman who gave so much to golf.
When you were watching the Open, as soon as he said “on the tee” you knew exactly who it was.
On the first tee, he was always very prepared and professional and he would put you at ease.
He was also a PGA professional. He spoke to me about his time as a club pro one day when we were chatting on the tee.
He was a lovely man so my thoughts go to his family.
Thank you Ivor for making each one of my Open starts so memorable https://t.co/7PhZ33FYzF
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) October 17, 2023
Bigger and better in 2024
Meanwhile, the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will return to Trump International Links for the next three years.
I know the course was very well received by the players who took part in this year’s event.
That is no surprise as it is an unbelievable golf course – one of the best there is.
I love playing the course and a course that good should be hosting big events.
There is likely to be a great field for that event because it is taking place the week after the Senior Open at Carnoustie.
The crowds were good this year but with next year’s event being earlier in the summer and during the school holidays I expect there will be even more people there in August.
It is shaping up to be a fantastic summer of golf in Scotland because along with the senior events we have the Scottish Open at Renaissance, the Open at Royal Troon and the Women’s Open at St Andrews.
So close for Siem in Spain
The Spanish Open was won by Matthieu Pavon but it was Marcel Siem who almost stole the show.
He nearly chipped in from the edge of the green for a 59 in his final round but ended up with a par at the driveable 324-yard last in an excellent round of 61.
Marcel has had an unbelievable year.
He is now sitting in 11th spot on the DP World Tour in the race to land one of the 10 cards on offer for the PGA Tour.
He is 43 now and he has had a bit of a renaissance after a couple of difficult years.
He has been very consistent this season and he will be hoping to keep the momentum going over the closing few events.
But there was no stopping Pavon as he claimed his first win on the DP World Tour.
He has been knocking on the door for a while and it was only a matter of time before he got across the winning line.
It was a good win for him because there were some top players in the field, such as Jon Rahm who was aiming to win on home soil, and a few players, including Siem, putting the pressure on over the closing stretch.
Chip for a 59…
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) October 15, 2023
Will final spot be for the host?
Nineteen of the 20 players who will take part in next month’s Hero World Challenge have been confirmed.
I’m hoping the final spot is being reserved for the event host Tiger Woods, who has not played since the Masters in April.
It is a strong field with eight of the world’s top 10 teeing up. There will be 11 of the 12 members of the United States’ Ryder Cup team in action with LIV player Brooks Koepka the only absentee.
A few videos of Tiger playing golf have been shared recently which has raised hopes he may be close to a return.
The golfing world want to see him back playing and competing again.
I would love to see him in the field and this would be an ideal tournament to ease him back in.