Could a Scot Please Win the British Open One Day? Is That Too Much to Ask?

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But Lawrie is the only still-active Scottish major champion, and he may not play the Open again.

“I will wait and see how I feel next year, but right now, it’s no,” Lawrie said. “I always said I wouldn’t ever take a spot if I didn’t feel as though I could certainly play OK and play four rounds.”

Law struggled plenty himself in his third round on Saturday, shooting a 5-over-par 77 to drop to two over par for the tournament.

“It’s not a regular tournament, but we’ve tried to make it as normal as we can,” he said earlier in the week. “I’m not just here to soak it all in.”

There is, of course, plenty to absorb. St. Andrews not only has the R&A World Golf Museum, which sits just across the street from the Old Course. It is an open-air golf museum, as well, one where the American accents often outnumber the Scottish ones in the stores, pro shops and cobbled alleyways.

Business and real estate are booming again after the pandemic lockdowns, and The Times of London reported this week that properties near the Old Course’s iconic 18th green are selling for up to 2,500 pounds (about $3,000) a square foot, that housing prices in St. Andrews are up 23 percent in the past year and that about 50 percent of the buyers in central St. Andrews are from abroad.

It is not just the golf: St. Andrews University remains one of the most prestigious in Britain, with alumni that include John Knox, Thomas Bruce and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (better known as William and Kate). But golf certainly is at the core of the enduring attraction, and the shops on Golf Place, a road that borders the Old Course, are filled with golf trinkets and memorabilia, much of which feature Scottish golfers like James Braid, who won the Open five times in the early 1900s.

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