Sandy plans a happy Open swansong

Sandy Lyle got the Championship started. Picture by Michael Gillen.
Sandy Lyle got the Championship started. Picture by Michael Gillen.

Scottish golfing legend Sandy Lyle got the 2018 Open Championship started in style at Carnoustie.

Bathed in glorious sunshine, the Perthshire based 1985 champion teed off in a group with German Martin Kaymer and England’s Andy Sullivan.

With the four days expected to be safe from the normal high winds and driving rain associated with links golf, the scoring should be low and even during the early stages of the first round several players were under par.

This will be Lyle’s 43rd Open, his 42nd in succession, and it is probable that it will be his last.

As a former Champion Golfer, he has been eligible to play in the oldest of all the majors since his victory at Royal St George’s in 1985.

But now, having turned 60 in February, his exemption is in its final year.

“You know in the back of your mind that there’s going to be a time when you’ll have to salute and say ‘goodbye’,” he said.

“I’m not complaining, though. I’ve still got a bit of fight there and my target now is to make the cut and do really well at the age of 60.

“We saw Tom Watson do it at Turnberry (in 2009) and that’s always in the back of your mind.

“It’s feasible.”