FORMER Scotland international golfer, Alistair Low, yesterday played himself into office as the new captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
A member of the club since 1968, in time honoured fashion he drove off the first tee of the championship Old Course on the stroke of 8 am accompanied by the single blast of a cannon - which set off a nearby shop alarm in the process.
Several hundred people, including several past captains, gathered around the tee in bright morning sunshine to watch the traditional ceremony.
An accomplished amateur golfer, he represented Scotland at the 1965 European Amateur Team Championship, as well as both the 1964 and 1965 Home Internationals.
As a member of the R&A, he chaired its Championship Committee from 1985 to 1988, before becoming chairman of the General Committee, a post he occupied from 1991 to 1994.
He was also the chairman of the Scottish Golf Union from 2002 to 2008.
More than two dozen caddies fanned out across the first fairway of the course in the race to collect the new captain’s tee shot.
The near perfect drive was almost caught in full flight by 25-year-old American caddie Oliver Horovitz, who eventually gathered the ball and returned it to a smiling Mr Low to be presented with a gold sovereign.
Oliver is the son of the renowned American dramatist, Israel Horovitz, and is also the great nephew of the late Squadron Leader Ken Hayward, who died last summer, and was a prominent figure in St Andrews.
A former student at St Andrews and Harvard, Oliver spends his summers caddying on the Old Course.
He told the Citizen:”I will always treasure this day and dedicate it to Uncle Ken.”