Nick Dougherty has described this week’s The Open For The Ages as “the stuff that dreams are made of”.
The former European Tour pro is part of the Sky Sports commentary team for this week’s unique tournament, which is designed to be a celebration of golf’s original championship in the week that its 149th edition should have been taking place at Royal St George’s.
The Open For The Ages, in association with HSBC, will see real footage from past championships at St Andrews expertly edited and woven together with modern graphics in a bid to recreate the drama of an Open final round.
Dougherty, Ewen Murray and Iona Stephen are among the commentators who will describe the action when this innovative project culminates in a three-hour broadcast this Sunday.
“To be involved with it, to be part of that commentary team, fills me with a lot of pride because it’s a really, really cool production,” said Dougherty.
"I think this is a thing that we've always dreamt of being able to do, to put the greats of the game over the course of history together against one another.
“To be able to reimagine and create this fantasy world where we can pit them against each other, alongside each other at the Old Course. It's the stuff that dreams are made of.
“To see them there and watch them in their prime, and look at the comparison between the golf swings and how they evolved, it was a lot of fun. And I think one of the wonderful things about this whole production is we get to celebrate the lost footage, so to speak, of The Open.”
Fellow commentator Murray, a participant in The Open at St Andrews in 1978 and 1984, added: “It was something I didn’t think was possible. I now know it is possible.
“I really enjoyed (commentating on it). For me, it was a labour of love. It was an honour to do, to be perfectly honest.”
Stephen, who studied at the University of St Andrews before taking up golf professionally, soon found herself drawn in by the footage showing players from different eras competing together.
“I was fully convinced that these matches were taking place and they were all in the same field and it was just very exciting,” she said. “To have the opportunity to see all these players on the same turf at one time (in the final broadcast), it’s going to be amazing.”
• For more information on The Open For The Ages, click here.