Hamilton, Champion Golfer of the Year at Royal Troon in 2004, and Lehman, winner in 1996 at Royal Lytham & St Annes, are just two of a veritable host of golfing superstars who will compete for the Senior Claret Jug at St Andrews for the first time in the Championship’s 32-year history.
Lehman finished fourth at the Old Course in 2000, as Tiger Woods secured his first Claret Jug and the 2006 USA Ryder Cup Captain believes that this year’s tournament will yield a moment to be cherished.
“Any chance you get to play the Old Course is a momentous occasion,” said Lehman. “There is no doubt in my mind, and you can take any golf tournament in the world – that includes the Masters, Opens at Muirfield, U.S. Opens at Winged Foot – the greatest tournaments in the world are Open Championships at St Andrews.
“To have the Senior Open at St Andrews is up there with that. To play for a big, big prize in that little town is simply as good as it gets.
“We’re all incredibly grateful that we have the opportunity to play the Senior Open there. You stand on the first tee, and you know that guys have managed to hit it out of bounds; you hope to not be one of those. It’s the least intimidating tee shot in the history of Championship golf, but it may make you the most nervous.”
Likewise, his compatriot Hamilton is relishing the opportunity to return to the Old Course.
“Any time you can play there, there’s going to be some excitement,” he said. “I know a few guys who have never played there and are really looking forward to going.
“They always say you’d like to win a tournament at St Andrews, it’s the birthplace of golf. It would be a nice page on your resumé if you could do that.
“It’s a course that gives you a lot of options. When the ball runs, anybody can do well – not just the long hitters – the guys who get it on the fairway and get a runout can compete.”
Hamilton and Lehman will be joined by compatriots, and fellow Champion Golfers, Mark Calcavecchia and John Daly at the Old Course.
In excess of a dozen Major Champions and Senior Major Champions, in addition to countless European Tour winners and Ryder Cup players are expected to take to the famous fairways of St Andrews, including; defending champion Bernhard Langer, Paul Broadhurst, Sir Nick Faldo, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie, Costantino Rocca and Ian Woosnam.
Under-16s and parking are free.
Tickets, starting at £13.50 per day, are available now on: st.golf/SeniorOpen18Tickets
|1||JIMÉNEZ, Miguel Ángel||ESP||18||-12|