Paul Lawrie To Hit Opening Tee Shot At 150th Open

The 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year will get the 150th Open underway on Thursday morning

Paul Lawrite salutes the crowd during the R&A Celebration of Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul Lawrie has been given the honour of getting the historic 150th Open underway on Thursday morning at the Old Course of St Andrews.

The tee times for the opening two rounds have yet to be released but the R&A confirmed the news that the Scotsman would kickstart the game's oldest championship after teeing off in Monday's Celebration of Champions.

Video: Perks of winning The Open

Lawrie, the 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year who also hit the opening tee shot in 2010, stepped away from the main tour in 2020 and admitted he would be nervous come Thursday morning.

"I’m always nervous on the first tee, no matter what tournament I play I’m always nervous there," said Lawrie. "But this is more because it’s the Open and the 150th, and fortunately it’s a nice, big fairway.

"Mind you I could miss any fairway however wide it is. I just chipped it down in 2010. The stand on the right looks a little closer. It’s a bit tighter, it’s not tight, but a little bit. I think we’ll pop it down there somewhere.

"It’s always nice to hit the opening shot. It’s a nice thing to be asked to do and hopefully it’ll be flat calm. It’s obviously a huge occasion, a huge week, a big milestone so the more you think about it, yeah it is a big thing to do it in the 150th."

The 53-year-old returned to winning ways last month on the Legends Tour at Trevose Golf Club and hopes the firm links turf might help him this week, while adding he would have no issues sleeping in.

"I’m 53 so I’m wide awake at 4.30 going for a pee," he said. "Shouldn’t be a problem, middle of the night. I’ll be ready for 5am. It’s a pretty good draw, actually, greens will be pure, a great draw for me.

"If it was the main tour I’d be struggling. But because it’s links and the ground’s really hard…I hit it on the last there, which is not my normal shot down there

"It’ll play shorter and hopefully we can bumble round somehow. Harder and faster the better, it’s proper links out there."

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1