St Andrews, Scotland: Former Royal Hong Kong Police Superintendent Matt Corker has been appointed as one of two new starters for The Open Championship.
Corker and David Lancaster will announce the world’s best players as they begin their rounds on the historic Ayrshire links of Royal Troon in July.
While Lancaster will become The Open’s official starter, Corker will provide support during the several hours that Lancaster sends players off on each of the Championship days.
They will replace Ivor Robson, who retired at last year’s 144th Open at St Andrews after serving as official starter for more than 40 years.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to become the official starter,” said Lancaster. “The Open is one of the most prestigious events in world sport and I have long been inspired by its heritage and the tremendous performances of the golfing greats over the years. Matt and I are very much looking forward to playing a part in history by introducing the players on the first tee.”
Born in 1957 in Lancashire, Lancaster served in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He left in 1989 to establish his own company, which specialises in coaching individuals and corporations in the art of giving high impact presentations. A golfer for more than 30 years, Lancaster is a member at Cumberwell Park Golf Club near Bath.
Corker was born in 1953 in Hampshire. In 1974 he was selected to join the Royal Hong Kong Police and went on to become Superintendent during a 22-year career. Returning to the UK in 1997, Corker joined Lancaster’s company as an associate.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “David and Matt have a wealth of experience in presenting to audiences of all sizes and we are delighted that they will be announcing the players on the first tee, beginning this year at Royal Troon.
“We were looking for starters who would be comfortable performing in front of both the thousands of spectators on site and the millions around the world watching at home. David and Matt were recommended to us for their expertise in this field and when we met it became clear that they would be an excellent fit for this role.”
The Open returns to Royal Troon for the ninth time from July 10-17.
Zach Johnson will look to defend the title he won in a play-off over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman at St Andrews in 2015 and become the seventh American in succession to lift the Claret Jug at Royal Troon.