Open 2016: How to replace the irreplaceable Ivor Robson

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Royal Troon
Ivor Robson
Ivor Robson announced his first Open Championship in 1975
Venue: Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland Dates: 14 July - 17 July
Coverage: Listen live on Radio 5 live, follow live text on the BBC Sport website from Thursday. Highlights on BBC Two and online. Click here for full details

One of golf's best-known phrases will have a different ring to it when the Open begins at Royal Troon on Thursday.

"On the tee..." were the words spoken by Ivor Robson, one of the sport's most recognisable voices, for more than 40 years.

But when the 145th Open Championship gets under way on the Ayrshire coast not long after dawn's first light, Robson's comfortingly-familiar Scottish accent will not be making the opening announcement for the first time since 1974.

After working not only at the Open, but most other golf tournaments staged in the British Isles, Robson finally retired, a day later than expected, at last year's rain-delayed 144th Open Championship at St Andrews.

In his place have stepped forward two big-hearted characters, both Englishmen, West Country-based David Lancaster and his sidekick, Matt Corker.

How to pronounce the almost pronounceable

The pair have been picked not only for their public-speaking skills, but their jaunty manner and unmistakably pleasant demeanour.

They have also been chosen for their ability to pronounce some of the trickier foreign players' names at the most cosmopolitan of the four major championships.

One of their main research helpers was, of course, Robson himself.

"I phoned him a couple of weeks ago," Lancaster, 58, told BBC Sport. "A wonderful gentleman.

"He gave me at least an hour on the phone and some brilliant bits of advice, which I shall not share publicly," he added with a grin.

Robson's secret comfort breaks

One of the most debated aspects of Robson's 41-year reign as the public voice of golf was how he managed to stay posted on the first tee all day without the need of a comfort break.

"I'm going to reveal a 41-year-old secret," said Lancaster. "There's a tube and a bucket."

David Lancaster (right)
David Lancaster (right) is one of the men chosen to replace Ivor Robson at the Open.

Corker quipped: "And I'm the one in charge of holding the tube and the bucket."

But Lancaster added: "It was my idea, for that very reason we should involve someone else.

"If it should go to a play-off, Matt will have to deal with it, as it's my 25th wedding anniversary and I've already got my holiday booked."

A beginner's guide to the two new starters

Both of the R&A's two new starters have military backgrounds.

Lancaster, who was born in Lancashire in 1957, served in the Royal Navy.

He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander before resigning his commission in 1989 to establish his own company, specialising in the art of high-impact presentations.

A golfer for more than 30 years, Lancaster is a member at Cumberwell Park Golf Club, near Bath.

Corker, born in Hampshire in 1953, joined the Royal Hong Kong police in 1974, going on to reach the rank of superintendent in a 22-year career.

After returning to the UK in 1997, he joined Lancaster's company as an associate. Also West Country based, he is a Bristol Rovers fan.

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