Two local golfers are preparing to walk in the footsteps of legends after winning the prize of a lifetime with The Courier.
Kevin Hodgson, 48, and Moly McMillan, 58, will be teeing up at the Home of Golf just hours after the conclusion of the Senior Open presented by Rolex at the end of this month.
Kevin and Moly were judged the winners in our competition, run in conjunction with the European Tour, in which we asked readers to share their favourite St Andrews Old Course tournament memories.
Now the pair can look forward to taking part in the Patrons’ Day event at the Old Course, playing the world-famous links in its full championship setup.
For Kevin and Moly, both keen golfers, it’s the perfect prize.
Kevin, a teacher who lives near Perth, said: “It’s the ultimate at St Andrews. I’ve been to the last five Opens there so it will be fantastic to get out there and play the course as it’s set up for the professionals.”
The Senior Open, presented by Rolex, will feature a host of legendary players, including Sir Nick Faldo, Mark James, Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, José Maria Olazábal, Corey Pavin, Tom Watson and Ian Woosnam.
Old Course. New Memories…
— Staysure Tour (@StaysureTour) July 3, 2018
Tickets, starting at £13.50 per day, are available here. Under-16s and parking are free.
Blairgowrie Golf Club member Kevin added: “I played the Old Course nearly 20 years ago and finished the 17th and 18th in 5 and 4 so I’d definitely settle for that again.”
Moly, a semi-retired businessman who lives in Broughty Ferry and plays at Monifieth, said: “One of my lifelong ambitions is to play every golf course in Scotland. I’m up to about 80 — so I have plenty to cover yet.”
Moly blogs about his adventures on Scotland’s courses, and is looking forward to a day out on the most famous of them all.
“I’ve always felt a strong connection to the history of golf in Scotland. Because of the handicap system, it’s one of the few sports that allows the ordinary player to identify with the best in the world.
“It’s not like other sports. You know you could never play Roger Federer at tennis, but in golf you might birdie a hole that the pros might also birdie. So it connects you to the very best.
“And what better place to do that than the Old Course?”
Kevin Hodgson: My Old Course memory
There can be only one. Seve on the 18th green in the final round at the Old Course in 1984.
I was a 14 year old boy at my first ever Open Championship. What a treat – that still serves me to this day.
I will never forget the sun-kissed image of the great man, pumping his fist having slain his fellow competitors like a Spanish matador having won a bull fight. Simply majestic!
It was a ding dong battle with the much admired and adored Tom Watson on the final day; it was quite a script that unfolded that Sunday afternoon.
I soon purchased a dark blue Slazenger jumper and was out attempting to hole putts which would afford me the opportunity to celebrate like the great man!
He will forever be my abiding memory of golf and of the great Old Course itself. RIP Seve.
Moly McMillan: My Old Course memory
For shot making and drama the 1995 Open stands out for me.
Most people will remember the dramatic putt Costantino Rocca made from the Valley of Sin to force a playoff, but I most remember the way John Daly played the 17th.
In regulation play on the last day, Daly made a remarkable 5 from the face of Road Bunker, when a double bogey at worst seemed likely. Then in the playoff he played a beautiful long and drawing links pitch and run from 150+ yards, worthy of winning any open at St Andrews.
In high winds, John Daly proved he was really a great touch player, not just the big hitter he was known as.
Only St Andrews has the course architecture to have made for the drama that unfolded that year.