For many, this year’s Open will be the first without Peter Alliss doing the commentary, It will feel very strange. My first Open Championship was as a young child in 1977, the year of the Watson v Nicklaus Duel In The Sun. It was the commentary team on the BBC, and Peter’s meliflous voice that had me so entranced and enthralled. So much so that my Dad, who was equally caught up in it all, announced. Come on, I’ve found out we can pay at the gate. And he drove us from Newcastle to Turnberry at the crack of dawn so we could see the final round, and that was that. Golf got into my heart forevermore, But a lot of that would have been Peter’s witty commentary that started it all.
It was odd, the way things turned out with the pandemic, that Peter was to have a last Masters in 2020 because it was played in November, just weeks before he passed away. In case you haven’t seen it, here is the tribute the BBC compiled.
At 2.45 pm on Open Friday the starter addressed the spectators in the stand around the first tee and introduced Peter’s widow Jackie, two of his soms and one of their granddaughters. He asked the crowd for a round of applause for Peter’s 60 years in broadcasting which left an indelible mark on the championship.
The applause went on and on for several minutes and people stood up in the stands.
Peter would have loved that I’m sure.