Ivor Robson, the official starter at The Open Championship for 41 years, has died aged 83.
Described by the R&A as “one of the most distinctive voices in golf”, Robson began his career as a starter at Carnoustie in 1975 and retired in 2015 after the 144th Open at St Andrews.
He delivered the famous “On the tee…” introductions in his gentle Scottish accent at The Open, as well as many European Tour events, and is credited with having introduced over 18,400 players in his time on the first tee at golf’s oldest major.
Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “We are deeply saddened to hear of Ivor’s passing. As official starter at The Open for over 40 years, his voice was instantly recognisable and synonymous with the Championship for players and millions of golf fans worldwide. He was popular and well respected among all golfers who played in The Open and I know that they will share in our sadness at this news. On behalf of all of us at The R&A, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to his wife of 61 years, Lesley, and the Robson family.”
Robson didn’t miss a championship or a tee time going back to 1975 and was also well known for avoiding a toilet break as much as he could between matches teeing off by not drinking any liquids until the final player had teed off.
Looking back his career in 2015 following his retirement, Robson said: “It is a great honour to be the official starter for the greatest championship in the world. I’m privileged and immensely proud. They were all very special.”