Ivor Robson: ‘Voice of The Open’ dies aged 83

Ivor Robson, the official starter at The Open for 41 years, has died aged 83.

Robson, described by the R&A as “one of the most distinctive voices in golf”, began his career at Carnoustie in 1975 and retired in 2015.

He delivered the famous “On the tee…” introductions in his gentle Scottish accent at The Open and many other tournaments.

Robson, from Moffat in Dumfriesshire, announced 18,995 players at The Open.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive 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.”

‘Any game that mattered needed his distinctive tones’

Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent

Countless golfers have started rounds by teasing playing partners addressing their golf balls with the words: “On the tee….”

And they are usually said with an attempt at the gentle Scottish borders birr that was the quintessential Ivor Robson.

It felt as though any game that really mattered needed Ivor’s distinctive tones to give it true credibility.

He was a fixture at Opens, Ryder Cups and countless European tour events.

Few people got to know him; he was a very quiet and private individual. However, his calm presence on stomach churning first tees around the world brought evocatively delivered theatre to the start of so many championships.

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