It will mainly be remembered as Tom Watson’s last competitive event on British soil and also for Bernhard Langer claiming a record fourth title triumph.
But the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Lytham produced a “bonus” for Panmure PGA Professional Andrew Crerar as well.
He played in two Open Championships back in the mid-90s, but securing his debut in the over-50s equivalent at a time when he’d not been playing much was equally satisfying.
“It was brilliant,” said Crerar, a former PGA in Scotland captain, of his opportunity to rub 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 successful on this occasion.”
The Tartan Tour player secured his spot in the Lytham line-up in a play-off at Fairhaven in one of four 18-hole shoot-outs to fly the Saltire along with Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle, Paul Lawrie, Gary Orr and Andrew Oldcorn in the $2 million event.
In one of his practice rounds, Crerar played with 2014 Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley and Des Smyth, one of his vice captains in that match at Gleneagles.
Boosted by what they had to say about his game, he opened with a 73 before adding a 74 on the tough Lancashire course for a seven-over total, ending up just two shots away from making the cut.
“I really enjoyed playing in it,” added Crerar. “It was great. To go from hardly playing to being thrust into this, I am pleased with the way I performed. I don’t feel I disgraced myself in anyway.
“I played in The Open in 95 and 97 at St Andrews and Troon. This was a bonus, to be honest, as I’m not even a part-time player. I’ve only played two or three events this year.”
Next up for Crerar, who enjoyed meeting up with former Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol during the week, is the Scottish PGA Championship at Downfield in early September.
“Downfield is my old hunting ground and I have an old score to settle there,” he said. “I was there for six or seven years when I was playing full-time and I’m looking forward to going back.”