The Open: Paul Lawrie admits to nerves ahead of hitting first shot

Paul Lawrie Main

For the second time in his decorated career, Paul Lawrie will have the honour of hitting the opening shot at the Open Championship this week - and he doesn't mind admitting he's nervous at the prospect.

The 1999 'Champion Golfer of the Year' will get proceedings under way in The 150th Open when he strikes the first ball at the Old Course on Thursday morning.

The full list of tee times have yet to be released but it has been confirmed by the R&A that the Aberdonian will be first up at around 6.30am, just as he was at St Andrews in 2010.

Speaking to The Courier after the 'Celebration of Champions' on Monday evening, the 53-year-old didn't deny he would have some butterflies, but added he would have no difficulty in making the early morning alarm call.

• Jack Nicklaus addresses Greg Norman furore

• When and where to watch The Open on TV

“I’m 53 so I’m wide awake at 4:30 going for a pee,” he laughed.

“I’m always nervous on the first tee, no matter what tournament I play in. But this will be nervous because it’s the 150th Open and bit of a milestone. Fortunately it’s a nice, big fairway. Mind you, I could miss any fairway however wide it is!"

“When we had the Champions’ Challenge in 2000, I had the first hit as defending champion and I hit a horrible pull hook and it was only about a foot from the out of bounds fence. 

"Tom Weiskopf was next and as he went over he whispered in my ear, ‘thank f*** you went first’. He hit the same shot, right next to my ball."

• Spieth shuts down LIV Golf rumours

• 8 big names missing The 150th Open

Lawrie stepped away from the main tour in October 2020 but demonstrated that the competitive fire still burns with a win on the Legends Tour last month. 

“You can get it around these courses a bit better,” he said. “If it was the main tour I’d be struggling. But it’s links and the ground’s really hard. I knocked it on the last green, which is not my normal shot down there.

“So it’ll play shorter and hopefully we can bumble round somehow. The harder and faster the better, it’s proper links out there."

Share this Article

twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
2022 Driver Test | Which one is going in my bag?
play button
The most powerful PING irons ever? | PING i525 review
play button
I'll be using the Vokey SM9 wedges... and you should too
play button
The driver that has it all? | COBRA LTDx drivers REVIEWED!
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

PGA Tour slammed over Cam Smith ruling row
Extinction Rebellion protestors vandalise golf courses amid water ban
Ewen Ferguson hails "unbelievable" win as dream season continues
Greg Norman hits back at Rory McIlroy over wins jibe
Muslim golf chief claims sport is “too restrictive”

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
A lesson for cack-handed golfers
play button
Increase your speed through the ball
play button
Control your rhythm and tempo
play button
Lengthen your backswing for more power
See all videos right arrow