“I’m 53 so I’m wakeful at 4.30 am, going for a pee!” stated the 1999 champion. “Shouldn’t be an issue, up in the course of the night time anyway. I’ll be prepared for five am.”
Paul Lawrie has no difficulty with hitting the primary shot of the one hundred and fiftieth Open a 6.30 am on Thursday – he’s finished it earlier than, and properly, most males his age are up at the moment…
In all seriousness, not solely is Paul honoured to have been given the primary hit once more – he’s the primary to ever do it twice – it’s really a fairly good time.
“The greens shall be pure, hopefully it’ll be a flat calm,” he stated. He was confirmed because the hitting first upfront of the principle draw being launched on Tuesday. “The Friday time shall be 11.30 am as properly. It’s a terrific draw.”
Whereas he at all times will get nervous on the primary tee it doesn’t matter what the match is, his most nervous time was really within the Champions’ Problem occasion of 2000.
“I used to be defending champion that 12 months, and had the primary shot,” he stated. “The place was packed and buzzing with individuals.
“This can be a good, large fairway however I hit a horrible pull hook and it ended up only a foot from the fence. Tom Weiskopf was subsequent up and he whispered in my ear as he handed me and stated “thank f*** you went first”.
“Then he hit precisely the identical ball and ended up proper the place I used to be. That might be essentially the most nervous I’ve ever been, I believe.”
Paul was again on the Outdated Course taking part in yesterday’s Celebration of Champions, with lots of the previous champions pottering about on the nice hyperlinks. The groups performed a circuit of the first, 2nd, seventeenth and 18th with Jack Nicklaus wanting on from a buggy, and a big crowd having fun with the enjoyable.
“It’s nice enjoyable, and while you play with Mr (Tom) Watson, it’s at all times the identical,” he added. “He’s by no means missed a shot on the market, flushed each one.
“My ball-striking was a bit poor and also you’re pondering, ‘Tom’s watching’, as you squaff it into the entrance left bunker. You don’t get that feeling fairly often, you’re often simply into your individual recreation.
“However in issues like this and with individuals like him, you positively give it some thought. 23 years and I’m nonetheless not fairly used to it!”
Jack Nicklaus zipped round every group in a buggy however Lee Trevino and Sir Bob Charles have been amongst these taking part in.
“Jack got here out to say howdy, and I noticed Tiger on the placing inexperienced this morning,” he continued. “It’s simply nice that they arrive out to play, nice for the R&A that they need to participate, have a good time the very fact we’re all champions.”