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  Saturday, 22 July, 2000, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Hastings' Ryder Cup wish
Gavin Hastings
Hastings is in love with St Andrews
Former Scotland rugby captain, Gavin Hastings, combines work and pleasure at The Open as he gathers support for Scotland's Ryder Cup bid reports BBC Sport Online's Alasdair Lamont.

"The millennium Open at St Andrews is such a memorable and special occasion," said Hastings.

"When Scotland puts on a show like this, with the weather, the crowds, the course and all the history and tradition here, it's just a winning combination which shows all the best things Scotland has to offer."

The former Scotland captain who admitted that he loves the game also added that the St Andrews course is dear to his heart.

"I'm a very big golfing fan and a keen golfer - I play off six at Gullane - and I have a lot of affection for St Andrews.


I was here for The Open in 1995 and the history of the place makes it very specia
Gavin Hastings on St Andrews

"I was here for The Open in 1995 and the history of the place makes it very special.

"I've played the Old Course myself on many occasions. I think my best round was probably a 76 off the medal tees.

"That was when I was about 15 or 16 and I probably haven't come close to matching that since.

"But I thoroughly enjoy playing here - it's a real treat coming up the 18th and there's always people watching you.

Awe

"It makes you realise that you've walked up the same fairways as so many famous people."

It was inevitable that the name of Tiger Woods was going to crop up and like so many who are in awe of the golfer, Hastings showed that he was no different.


This whole experience makes it all the more exciting to think about the possibility of the Ryder Cup coming here in 2009
Gavin Hastings on the Ryder Cup bid

"There's not many sports where you can play on the same surface as all the greats," added Hastings.

"Just having played the course makes me full of admiration for these golfers as well.

"They've got here by virtue of their skills around the course and when a player like Tiger comes along here and goes round without dropping a shot, it's very impressive.

Tiger Woods
Woods is a favourite with Hastings

"His ability to scramble and to hole key putts is just incredible and you've got to admire the way he conducts himself on and off the golf course and he deserves all his success.

Hastings is now set on bringing the 2009 Ryder Cup to Scotland and is adamant that the bid will be successful.

"This whole experience makes it all the more exciting to think about the possibility of the Ryder Cup coming here in 2009.

"I'm looking forward to hopefully putting together a successful bid on behalf of the Scottish Executive.

"We have to drum as much support as possible, both in the public and private sectors, and that's what we've being doing a lot of this week.

"I fully expect that if we can get the support, Scotland is the rightful place to host the Ryder Cup in 2009."


Launch Scorecard
The Open at St.Andrews
20th - 23rd July
See also:

22 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
22 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
Links to more The Open stories are at the foot of the page.


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