David Law savours 'really special' major debut in 150th Open at St Andrews

As a family man himself, David Law would have appreciated the unusual yet lovely scene on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews in the build up to the 150th Open.

David Law was proud as punch after securing his spot in the 150th Open through a high finish in the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet. Picture: Harry Murphy/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.
David Law was proud as punch after securing his spot in the 150th Open through a high finish in the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet. Picture: Harry Murphy/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

Playing in the group ahead of Law and fellow Aberdonian Paul Lawrie, South African Dean Burmester finished off a practice with his wife walking up the fairway pushing a buggy while another child was running about having a ball.

As they walked up the steps at the back of the green, Burmester pointed to an engraving of Old Tom Morris on the iconic R&A Clubhouse and gave him an impromptu history lesson.

It encapsulated what playing at St Andrews is all about and, though Law has done that a good few times before, both as an amateur and a professional, this time is different.

The 31-year-old is making his major debut in what Tiger Woods has described as the “biggest Open Championship we’ve ever had”.

“It’s a really special one to play as my first major,” admitted Law, who secured his spot through a top-five finish in the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet.

“If you were to pick one, it would be The Open, and if you were to pick one particular Open it would be at St Andrews. It’s a really special one. You can feel the buzz and the vibe around the tournament.”

While excited about the prospect, the two-time Scottish Amateur champion is determined to get the emotional balance right.

“I checked in on Monday afternoon,” he said. “It’s a fine line between really enjoying the week, but, first and foremost, I’m here to compete.

“I’m trying to find the balance as I want to enjoy every minute, but, at the same time, preparing to play a golf tournament.”

Law played a full 18 holes on Tuesday with Lawrie, his manager and mentor, having come through the 1999 winner’s foundation in the north-east. The two loons were joined by Englishman Alex Wrigley, one of the qualifiers from Fairmont St Andrews last month.

“It’s just nice to be here and it was good to play with Paul as well,” said Law, who has been paired with Australian Jason Scrivener and Japan’s Shugo Imahira in the opening two rounds. “He has helped me out since I was 14, so it’s special to play in a major tournament he is competing in as well.”

Had he offered any particular advice out on the course? “It’s quite a difficult question because he has given me so many little things,” confessed Law. “Whether it’s things he has said or done, I am always learning and trying to pick up on the things he does.

“He has said to me right from the start, on the Challenge Tour and then European Tour, that I’m here to compete because I deserve to be here.”

Having encountered windy conditions on all four days in the Scottish Open then another one for that practice round here, Law doesn’t see any point in “beating myself up out there” in more wind forecast for Wednesday.

“If it was to be like that during the tournament I might go out and play a few, but I don’t see the point in it,” he said. “To play 18 today is enough for me.”

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