ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Almost two years removed from being a Ryder Cup captain, Paul Azinger made the trip across the pond to work for ESPN/ABC’s coverage of the British Open.
Though his appearance on the networks’ British Open coverage is not new – he also was part of last year’s broadcast – the fact that Azinger brought his clubs on the trip was a rather shocking development, given that the former PGA champion last played on the Champions Tour in April and has played just four events this year.
A new addition to the 50-and-over set this year, Azinger was going to extend his trip an additional week and make the 30-mile trek from St. Andrews to Carnoustie and play in his first Senior British Open next week. Those plans came to a halt Monday afternoon when Azinger arrived at St. Andrews and found out that he wasn’t in the Senior British because he didn’t register. It turns out that Azinger was under the false impression that if he was exempt into the field, he would not have to register beforehand.
“I can’t play both,” the typically gregarious Azinger said Monday with a smile on his face. “I was going to play this. I guess now I’ll play the other one.”
The “other one” Azinger is referring to is the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., in two weeks.
According to the USGA website, Azinger is exempt for that event as well. Hopefully he registers this time.