EVERYONE at Royal Dornoch Golf Club would like to congratulate Paul Lawrie on becoming an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
Paul, who was selected to play the opening shot at this year’s event, joined Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory in accepting the prestigious invitation in the countdown to the 150th Open Championship at The Home of Golf.
The three great champions have been recognised for their influential roles in “supporting and inspiring future generations of golfers” and serving as “outstanding global ambassadors for the sport.”
Royal Dornoch general manager Neil Hampton has welcomed the latest accolade for Aberdeen’s 1999 Open winner.
“Paul has been an outstanding ambassador for the sport we all love and he richly deserves the honour bestowed upon him by The R&A. I know our members will be thrilled for him,” said Neil.
In October last year, Royal Dornoch announced Paul had been awarded honorary membership of the Highland club in recognition of his outstanding contribution to golf as a player and in setting-up the Paul Lawrie Foundation to encourage the next generation of Scots golfing talent.
He supported the “400 Years of Golf” celebrations and two years ago officially unveiled the new-look 7th hole on the Championship Course. Paul has enjoyed a long-time affinity with the club and town and members were eager to recognise his support for Royal Dornoch down the years.
Neil added: “The club is looking forward to Paul returning for the official presentation ceremony, having joined Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw among the select band given honorary membership of Royal Dornoch.”
The R&A’s award recognised Paul’s status as one of European golf’s most successful and popular players over the last 35 years.
“Paul memorably became Champion Golfer of the Year after coming from ten shots behind to win in a dramatic Open at Carnoustie in 1999,” they noted.
“He has achieved eight DP World Tour victories and represented Europe in the Ryder Cup in 1999 and 2012 before serving as vice-captain in the 2016 match.
“Lawrie played in a remarkable 620 events before moving on to the Senior Tour in 2020.
“He has gone on to achieve two wins on the Senior circuit and is heavily involved in supporting junior golf through his foundation. He was made an MBE in 2000 and an OBE in 2013 for services to golf.”
Peter Forster, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, said: “I warmly congratulate Tiger, Rory and Paul on becoming Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
“They have each made huge contributions to golf and played their part in inspiring millions to take up and follow the sport around the world.
“They are not only great champions but fantastic ambassadors for golf and have brought so much joy to so many young fans in particular.
“This is entirely fitting recognition for three such distinguished sporting figures and I have no doubt they will continue to give exemplary service to the sport through their new roles in the club.”
Paul remarked: “I’m delighted to receive Honorary Membership of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, particularly on the historic occasion of the 150th Open.
“The club has supported the development of the sport since its formation and continues to do so today. I’m honoured to accept this invitation and to do that alongside Rory and Tiger is extra special.”