Ever-chatty Lee Trevino can’t wait to see how the 150th British Open unfolds

Lee Trevino (right) had a lot to say, as always, when discussing the 150th British Open and the Tiger Woods match.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — When the world of golf included Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player, it also included Lee Trevino.

No less well-known or less talented, Trevino was perhaps the purest ball-striker on the planet, but he was also the golfing version of Yogi Berra, complete with witty words and funny jokes.

A winner of six majors, including four one-on-ones against Nicklaus, Trevino was a self-taught player who was never without commentary or a punch line.

As Nicklaus said Monday during the Champions Celebration at St. Andrews, a four-hole display of former champions, Trevino laughs at his own jokes.

Trevino got to see current greatness in action as he teamed up with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and former British Open women’s champion Georgia Hall.

“Even though I love Tiger and I love Rory, Georgia Hall impressed me the most,” Trevino said with his patented laugh. “Now I know why she won all those tournaments. She can hit it. Holy Moly, I’m glad she wasn’t playing on the senior circuit, I had never won a tournament.

Even at 82, Trevino hasn’t lost his humor.

After playing in the four-hole exhibition, Trevino rated the Old Course which he played six times in his career, a T3 his best result in 1970.

“This golf course is easy, if you do everything perfectly,” Trevino said. “But if you’re a little out of the way with an iron or a driver, it’s a booger bear, because of the gorse and heather and deep bunkers with the big faces. It is extremely hard.

Hard and fast, for the 150th running of the British Open, Trevino sees a little extra wind helping the Ancient to rise from his past glory.

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Although the length of the modern player sometimes seems to dominate the Old Course, with at least five par 4s able to be driven, Trevino is salivating to see such power take the Old Course.

“I’ve said to a few guys before, don’t try to win the Open on Thursday and Friday going for those greens because you’re doing a big number and you’re going to end up behind the eight ball.” said Trevino. “If you are 4, 5, 7 or 8 shots down on Saturday or Sunday, then go like hell.”

Trevino’s plan then is to drive all the greens and make all the birdies you can, and you can catch up.

In addition to evaluating the Old Course, Trevino also had the opportunity to assess Woods and his appearance ahead of his 90th major championship.

“I’m just glad he’s alive.” Trevino said of Woods. “He has to be very careful not to get to a point where he loses that leg.”

Woods deduced what Trevino said about his right leg last week at the JP McManus Pro-Am.

“I will still be able to play golf, whether it’s this leg or someone else’s leg or fake leg or different body parts that have been placed or fused together, I will still be able to play,” Woods said. “Now if you say play at championship level, well, that window is definitely not as long as I would like.

The leg issue hasn’t hampered Woods’ ability to play golf at a high level, as evidenced by his appearance at the Masters and PGA Championships this year.

Trevino said Woods told him at the Father-Son event last December that he could play at a high level, but he just couldn’t walk the courses easily.

“Rory hit the driver on the 18th green and Tiger hit him on the green,” Trevino said to back up his point about Woods’ play. “Tiger hits him that far, just as well, he said his problem is he can’t walk.”

Trevino said he can’t wait to see the 150th Open Championship unfold.

“It’s going to be a hell of a tournament because there’s so many guys who can drive par-4s and they’re going to be in trouble,” Trevino said. “There’s no sure lead here. If a guy has a four or five shot lead and there’s going to be guys from afar to catch him, if they’re chasing him.”

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