Andrew Crerar revels in chance to play with the legends

Panmure pro Andrew Crerar played in two Open Championships back in the mid-90s and now he’s earned a “bonus” by qualifying for the senior version for the first time, writes Martin Dempster.

Andrew Crerar is one of six Scots playing in the Senior Open this week. Picture: Getty.
Andrew Crerar is one of six Scots playing in the Senior Open this week. Picture: Getty.

The Tartan Tour player secured his spot in the Royal Lytham line-up in a play-off at Fairhaven on Monday in one of four 18-hole shoot-outs for the over-50s major. That also involved two other Scots, Robert Arnott and Euan McIntosh, with Crerar getting through at the fourth extra hole to join Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie, Gary Orr and Andrew Oldcorn in flying the Saltire in the $2 million event.

“It’s brilliant,” said Crerar, right, a former PGA in Scotland captain, of finding himself rubbing shoulders with the game’s golden oldies. “I tried last year for the first time at Scotcraig, but didn’t get through and luckily I was able to get some time off after being successful on this occasion.

“It was looking like I was going to get straight in on Monday, but then the wind dropped a bit. It was five for four for a long time then it was three then two and I managed to get through with a birdie after playing well in the play-off.

“I played in The Open in 95 and 97 at St Andrews and Troon. This a bonus, to be honest, as I’m not even a part-time player. I’ve only played two or three events this year.” Crerar was speaking after playing a practice round with 2014 Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley and Des Smyth, one of his vice-captains at Gleneagles. “They were really good,” he reported. “I also played really good today and they said, ‘just keep doing what you are doing’. I just finished 3-3 and I am sure someone would pay a lot of money for that at the weekend.”

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“This week is the first time I’ve played the course and it is really tough. The first aim is to enjoy it and hopefully get through to the weekend.”