David Lancaster and Matt Corker have big shoes to fill.
The R&A announced on Tuesday that Lancaster and Corker will replace long-time and legendary British Open starter Ivor Robson for the 145th Open at Royal Troon this summer. Robson retired after last year’s Open at St. Andrews after serving as the event’s official starter for more than 40 years.
Lancaster, a member of Cumberwell Park Golf Club and a golfer for 30-plus years, will become the official starter, according to the R&A, and Corker will assist Lancaster in a supporting role.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to become the official starter,” Lancaster said. “The Open is one of the most prestigious events in world sport and I have long been inspired by its heritage and the tremendous performances of the golfing greats over the years. Matt and I are very much looking forward to playing a part in history by introducing the players on the first tee.”
Lancaster left the Royal Navy in 1989 to start his own company, which Corker, a former member of the Royal Hong Kong police, later joining as an associate.
“We were looking for starters who would be comfortable performing in front of both the thousands of spectators on site and the millions around the world watching at home,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, the executive director of championships at the R&A. “David and Matt were recommended to us for their expertise in this field and when we met it became clear that they would be an excellent fit for this role.”
This will be the ninth time Royal Troon hosts The Open, which falls July 10-17 this year.