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The golfing world lost one of the greatest voices ever known.

Ivor Robson, the starter for The Open Championship for forty years, passed away peacefully at the age of 83 on Tuesday.

Originally from Moffat, the small, south-central Scottish town in Dumfries and Galloway, Robson first worked at The Open in 1975. Tom Watson won his first of five Claret Jugs at Carnoustie that year.

His distinctive voice announced the opening tee shots of 18,995 players at golf’s oldest major, according to the BBC.

“As an official starter at The Open for over 40 years, his voice was instantly recognizable and synonymous with the Championship for players and millions of golf fans worldwide,” said Martin Slumbers, the CEO of the R&A, on Tuesday.

“He was popular and well respected among all golfers who played in The Open, and I know that they will share in our sadness at this news.”

Robson retired following the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews, where 2023 Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson claimed his second major championship.

Funny enough, Robson’s career was bookended by playoffs.

Watson defeated Jack Newton of Australia by one stroke in an 18-hole playoff in 1975. Johnson outlasted Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen in a four-hole, sudden-death playoff forty years later.

He seemingly had a sense for the dramatics, as his distinctive voice made it aware to all that The Open was here. It sent tingles down players’ spines to hear Robson call their voice on the first tee.

Hence why so many, including Tiger Woods, paid tribute to Robson upon hearing of his passing:

Ivor Robson the Voice of the Open Championship. You sadly have left us today but your voice and happiness hasn’t.
#RIP My Friend. First tee memories will last forever.

— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) October 17, 2023

Very sad news with the passing of Ivor Robson & thoughts to his family. I’ve never seen someone take pride in their job like he did. One of the coolest moments of my career was having him announce me on the tee as the US Open Champ & also the Scottish Open after I won at Pebble.

— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) October 17, 2023

Who’ll forget his Borders voice,
With his special words of choice,
Never found the time to pee,
Cos next it’s Tiger “On the tee”
Ivor was loved by all the tours players
Time for us all to send him our prayers.

Ivor Robson was universally loved & respected by us all . #RIP

— Ken Brown.. ⛳️ (@KenBrownGolf) October 17, 2023

This was the last time I got introduced by the great Ivor Robson. July 20 2015 Senior British Sunningdale. My wife Jenny took the video knowing it would be the last time. Ivor was retiring after this. RIP Ivor

— Scott McCarron (@ScottMccarron) October 17, 2023

Very sad to hear of the passing of the wonderful Ivor Robson, honourary starter on the DPWT for over 40years. The epitome of professionalism who always brought a sense of calm at an unnerving time. Lovely man, friend of everyone on the tour. You will be missed Ivor x RIP ❤️

— Andrew Coltart (@AndrewColtart) October 17, 2023

Everyone at St Andrews Links Trust is devastated to hear of the passing of Ivor Robson, long-time starter for The Open.

With one of the most distinctive voices in golf, Ivor presided over 41 Opens, including eight here at the Home of Golf, culminating in his last in 2015.


— St Andrews Links (@TheHomeofGolf) October 17, 2023

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ivor Robson. The official starter at The Open for more than 40 years, Ivor’s voice will forever be synonymous with the Championship.

Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, loved ones, and his many friends within golf.

— Royal Liverpool Golf Club (@RLGCHoylake) October 17, 2023

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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