David Rishworth’s 50-year association with golf will peak next week when he officiates at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
The 61-year-old former head professional at Halifax West End will be a referee at the event, which runs from Thursday to Sunday and features 156 of the world’s top players.
He is the first referee on the PGA panel to be invited to an Open and will be part of a 60-strong team of officials.
Rishworth will travel up to Scotland on Monday and stay at Dundee.
There will be rules conferences and a course walk on Tuesday and Wednesday and Rishworth will be allocated a group of players for the opening round, either walking with the players in case a ruling is required or acting as the match observer up ahead.
“I would say it is the highlight of my career because being British, I consider The Open to be the number one Major,” said Rishworth, who first swung a club at the age of 10 or 11 and was West End pro from 1985 to 2011. He lives within chipping distance of the Norton Tower course and still assists current pro Darren Arber in the shop.
Rishworth started refereeing in the late stages of his pro days at West End. He officiated at the US PGA in 2009 and also at a ladies’ major at St Andrew’s.
“I never expected to have an opportunity like this and I will continue to referee as long as I can,” he said.
Rishworth is hoping the good weather continues into next week and the wind doesn’t get up, which could make life easier for the officials.
A page of golf reports and previews in Friday’s ‘Courier’