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Regardless of what happens this week, the 150th Open is already a special one for Paul Lawrie.

The 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year was handed the honour of hitting the opening tee shot at the Old Course.

Playing in his 27th championship, Lawrie is better equipped than most to talk about what makes a good Open course.

The Home of Golf has had its critics amid fears long hitters could render it obsolete.

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But Lawrie reckons the Home of Golf will provide a perfect examination of the best players in the world.

“I thought the course was very good,” he said.

“Obviously the fairways are very hard. You want that. It’s links golf. You want guys that have to run it through the ground, go on the ground, and judge distance as opposed to pitching on the green and spinning it.”

Lawrie, who was made an honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy prior to the start of play, shot two-over on Thursday, an eagle two at the 18th ending his round on a high note.

And the former champion is still in with a shout of making the cut, should he enjoy a good round on Friday.

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“I thought two-over was harsh,” he said.

“I thought I played a little better than that. I didn’t do much wrong.

“I’ll need to be under par tomorrow to have any chance. But we’ll see what happens.”


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