CHAM­PI­ONS GATHER AT ST AN­DREWS

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Super Sport Diary -

The R&A will again be host­ing the Cham­pion Golfers’ Chal­lenge when the Open is played at St An­drews in July. Five-time cham­pi­ons Peter Thom­son and Tom Wat­son will join a pan­theon of leg­ends, in­clud­ing Gary Player, over four holes of the Old Course on Wed­nes­day, July 15. Thom­son, 85, will mark the 60th an­niver­sary of his third Open win at St An­drews in 1955, while Wat­son will be play­ing on the 40th an­niver­sary of his Open de­but in 1975, when he won at Carnoustie. The four-hole chal­lenge will see groups of three or four play the first, sec­ond, 17th and 18th, com­pet­ing for £50 000 which will go to char­ity.

The orig­i­nal chal­lenge in 2000 was the re­sult of an idea two-time Open cham­pion Lee Trevino re­lated to R&A CEO Peter Daw­son.

Some 22 for­mer cham­pi­ons were there. Roberto de Vi­cenzo, then 77, nearly drove the 18th green. Sam Snead, then 88, did a nifty jig on the Swilcan Bridge. Snead is gone, and no word on whether Trevino will make the event. In 2010, the event was much an­tic­i­pated for the planned par­tic­i­pa­tion of Seve Balles­teros, then bat­tling the brain tu­mour that would take his life. Alas, Balles­teros didn’t come, and bad weather can­celled the event.

Peter Thom­son.

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