Open Winner Bill On The Tee At Royal Dornoch July 21, 2022 Photo courtesy of The R&A. HARD on the heels of being feted at the Champions Dinner held by The R&A to celebrate the 150th Open, 1981 Champion Golfer of the Year Bill Rogers was teeing-up at Royal Dornoch Golf Club. The Texan, whose impressive CV includes a winning Ryder Cup experience, tournament victories in double digits and a PGA Player of the Year accolade, headed north from St Andrews to keep an appointment in the Highlands. Bill (70) entertained members and guests with reflections on a stellar playing career, which was followed by a role as director of golf at the San Antonio Country Club after he left the Tour in 1988, and time coaching golf at the city’s university. The visit was arranged by the Dornoch Christian Fellowship in tandem with the golf club team. The evening was hosted by club general manager Neil Hampton and childhood “Airforce brat” Bill reflected on the 14-year highs and lows of life on the road as a touring professional, which famously included a memorable four-shot victory over nearest rival Bernhard Langer at Royal St George’s to claim the Claret Jug in a “magical year.” Bill rated his role in a star-studded US Ryder Cup team win at Walton Heath on par with The Open win, with a home state Texas Open triumph also on the list. Earlier in the day, Bill had followed in the footsteps of other Major winners, including Tom Watson and honorary member Ben Crenshaw, in gracing the famous town links. Club champion and playing companion Alexander MacDonald watched Bill post a memorable birdie at the 14th, Foxy, and joke that there should be a plaque installed for anyone pulling off the admirable feat! Bill, who played in the tournament in his amateur days, was well aware that Royal Dornoch harbours aspirations to host The Walker Cup one day. He said: “They’d be making a big mistake if they didn’t come to Royal Dornoch. I know that as a fact. I like your chances. “Among real golf people it is held in very high esteem, certainly among the top two or three in the world.” Bill’s talk, amusing, poignant and enlightening as he looked back on his career and “faith journey” following his years rubbing shoulders with legends in the game, can be viewed at ‘An Evening With 1981 Open Champion Bill Rogers’. Photo Caption 1981 Open winner Bill Rogers (seated, third from right) headed for Royal Dornoch Golf Club hard on the heels of the Champions Dinner held to mark the 150th anniversary of The Open at St Andrews. Also in attendance were the club’s honorary members Tom Watson and Paul Lawrie.