Ivor Robson, Iconic Voice of Open Introductions, Dies at 83

Ivor Robson Open Championship
Starter Ivor Robson chats with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler during the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 20, 2014 . (Photo by David Cannon for R&A via Getty Images)

Ivor Robson, who introduced 18,995 players, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods, on the first tee as the official starter at The Open from 1975 to 2015, has passed away. He was 83.

Robson’s signature “on the tee…” introductions became as iconic as the players themselves.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Ivor’s passing,” said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers in a statement. “As [the] official starter at The Open for over 40 years, his voice was instantly recognizable 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.”

Robson began his career in his native Scotland at the 1975 Open at Carnoustie and ended it 40 years later in Scotland at St. Andrews.

“It has been a wonderful career,” said Robson during his last Open Championship. “It’s been a great honor. The way I have been treated by players, officials, sponsors … thank you all very much.

“I feel you can’t go on forever, and if you’re going to step off, there’s no better place to do it than here. I’ve had some nice ones, but this is special, St. Andrews. It is just magnificent.”



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