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Ivor Robson
Rick Reilly
July 26, 1999
For the last 25 years the Voice of Golf has given a royal send-off to every player in the British Open
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July 26, 1999

Ivor Robson

For the last 25 years the Voice of Golf has given a royal send-off to every player in the British Open

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Ivor Robson hasn't been to the bathroom in 25 years.

Or sat down.

Or drunk a drop, including water.

Or eaten a bite.

Or missed a day of work.

Or been out of uniform—coat and tie—even in 100� heat or in 20� blizzards.

Ivor Robson is the official 1st tee starter for the British Open. Last week at Carnoustie, for the 25th straight year, he was standing exactly where you expected to find him—on the 1st tee, hair perfectly combed, tie cinched up, posture absolutely erect, primly announcing each and every one of the players, in his unforgettable tenor. "On the tee, Payne Stewart!"

"I love this job," the ruddy-faced, silver-haired Scot will tell you, but only after the last player in the field of 156 has teed off. "I absolutely love it."

And he takes it very, very seriously. "This job requires total and complete concentration," he says. For that reason he doesn't touch a drop of liquid after 7 p.m. the night before. For instance, each night last week in Carnoustie, he would have a sandwich and a glass of mineral water and nothing more until the following night at 7 p.m. He loses "about a stone [14 pounds]" each Open, he says, but it makes it very easy to eschew the loo all day.

And it's a loooong day. Before the cut, Robson, who refuses to divulge his age (looks 50, tops, but could be 65), is introducing golfers for nine straight hours, from 7:15 in the morning to 4:15 in the afternoon, without sitting, drinking, eating or relieving. Says he, sternly, "I don't fool about." Ivor Robson would make a very good guard at Buckingham Palace.

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