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Open Champion Paul Lawrie Had The Shot AND Quote Of The Day In Thursday's Round 1 At St Andrews

Ross Parker - SNS Group. Getty Images.

Considering 1999 Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie teed off in the very first group of this year's major finale at St Andrews, it may seem like a bold proclamation I just made in that headline. But for real, I can pretty comfortably say that the 53-year-old veteran's drive on the par-4 18th and his post-round comments won't be topped by anyone after him.

The quote in question? Courtesy of GolfChannel.com, Lawrie said about the key advantage of such an early tee time: "I can pop in for a wee drinky poo later on. It will be quite nice."

What did I just read? Did Paul Lawrie actually say this? Apparently he did. I'm blown away. Shook. He also elaborated on how his playing partners Webb Simpson and Min Woo Lee didn't have to effort so hard to reach the putting surface at the Old Course's iconic closing hole:

[They] were in between 3-wood and long iron, whereas for me it's driver. To get anywhere near the pin, I have to hit driver. These boys were chip 3-woods out there. The game, it's crazy how it's going. For me it's flat-out driver, and it needs a bounce to get up there.

Lawrie's Claret Jug came at Carnoustie in 1999, when he was part of an earlier morning wave on that fateful Sunday as well. He began the final round 10 shots off the lead — a seemingly insurmountable deficit. Jean van de Velde's infamous 72nd-hole collapse in which he made a triple-bogey 7 dropped him into a playoff with Lawrie and Justin Leonard.

Cameron Young fired an 8-under 64 this morning, and the eagle on 18 pulled Lawrie to within 10 strokes of the clubhouse lead. How about that!? Seriously though, I'd be thrilled to see Lawrie around for the weekend. Beyond his unforgettable Open triumph, he carved out a fine career as an eight-time European Tour winner and played on Ryder Cup teams in 1999 and 2012. Give the man a full 72 holes at St Andrews, golfing gods!!

Also for reference, below we have, for your sadistic enjoyment the grisly footage of Van de Velde's implosion as he relives it (sick), and less remembered, the purest of pure 4-irons Lawrie struck to clinch his title as Champion Golfer of the Year in an otherwise rather dodgy four-hole playoff.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald