Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Paul Lawrie were announced as honorary members of St. Andrews on Wednesday, one day before the start of the 150th Open Championship.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews made the announcement on Wednesday.
“I warmly congratulate Tiger, Rory and Paul on becoming honorary members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club,” St. Andrews captain Peter Foster said in a statement. “They have each made huge contributions to golf and played their part in inspiring millions to take up and follow the sport around the world.
“They are not only great champions but fantastic ambassadors for golf and have brought so much joy to so many young fans in particular. This is entirely fitting recognition for three such distinguished sporting figures, and I have no doubt they will continue to give exemplary service to the sport through their new roles in the club.”
Woods, 46, has three wins at The Open among his 15 major championships, including victories at the Old Course at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005.
“I am grateful for this invitation to become an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews,” Woods said in a statement. “It is not only the home of golf but a place in this world that I hold near my heart. I am humbled to accept this invitation alongside these outstanding players today, as well as those who came before us.”
Woods, on Tuesday, addressed why St. Andrews holds special meaning to him.
“This is where it all began for me as an amateur,” Woods said. “My first chance to play in The Open Championship was here. I’ll never forget I played with Ernie Els and Peter Jacobsen the first two days. It was eye-opening how this golf course can play as easily as it can be played and also as difficult it can play just by the wind changing. Obviously when the tide changes as well.
“Just being here, I think this is my sixth Open Championship here, I think. Just to have that experience and have the ability to play here at the home of golf is always quite special. Then to have won it (here) twice makes it that much more special.”
McIlroy, 33, is a four-time major winner, including the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
“It’s a privilege to represent a club that has done so much for golf over so many years and I’m proud to play my part in promoting golf around the world,” McIlroy said in a statement.
Lawrie, 53, won the Open Championship in 1999 at Carnoustie.
–Field Level Media