St Andrews: Why the greats of the game love the Old Course

The Open For The Ages, in association with HSBC, is currently pitting he greatest champions of the last 50 years against one another on golf’s most iconic stage.

The Old Course at St Andrews has hosted more Opens than any other venue and holds a special place in the hearts of players and fans alike.  

Amid The Open For The Ages, which started yesterday and culminates in a three-hour broadcast from 11am BST on Sunday, let’s take a look at what some of the finest champion golfers have had to say over the years about the home of golf.

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TIGER WOODS

"Playing at St Andrews is literally the best. It's like going back in time. And to play at the home of golf and to have won two Opens there, it's one of the greatest walks coming up 18, to see the whole town there. Every great player that has ever played the game has played St Andrews - you can't say that about any other golf course. It's been around that long and every great champion has played it.”

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RORY McILROY

“If you want to win an Open Championship, you know there’s only one place that stands out to you that you’d want to win (at) and that’s at St Andrews at the Old Course. The amount of great players that have won there, the history of the place, the atmosphere, the feeling. There’s just some sort of nostalgic feel you get when you walk onto the first tee. It’s the perfect venue to win an Open Championship. It’s definitely my favourite Open venue by a long way.”

SEVE BALLESTEROS

“St Andrews is unique in golf and it has very good feelings, especially for me because I have such nice memories from 1984 and it’s something that I don’t think I will ever forget.”

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PETER THOMSON

“This is real golf, this is where it all started. All golf courses, really, are imitations of this one and there’s hardly any that measure up anywhere near it.”

JACK NICKLAUS

“If you’re gonna be a player that’s gonna be remembered, you must win at St Andrews. I can’t think of a course I’d rather win at, and my wish came true. I had a love affair with St Andrews from the first time I saw it.”

SIR NICK FALDO

“To win at St Andrews is special. It’s the home of golf and there’s something special about that town. And if you could have one choice, yeah, you want (to win) one there.”

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PHIL MICKELSON

"With this being the home of golf, you can't help but feel emotion and feel this sense of spirituality come over you as you play this course, knowing that this is where the game began.”

• The Open For The Ages is in association with HSBC.

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