BY ANTHONY JOSEPH, 11 JUL 2014 12.00PM
THE head greenkeeper at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club today expressed his mixed emotions as the Scottish Open entered its second day at the course.
Robert Paterson, had two border collie dogs to help him get the course ready for the big tournament.
Five-year-old Skye was blinded in an accident on the course six months ago but Brodie, 15, passed away just a few weeks ago.
Both dogs were a familiar presence on the course and Skye is the only dog allowed at the Scottish Open this weekend.
While the Scottish Open coming to Royal Aberdeen is an exciting time and career high for Robert, the event will be tinged with sadness for both Robert and his beloved dog.
He said: “Sadly Brodie, passed away a few weeks ago at the grand age of 15. Brodie was a real character and a support to Skye as he wore a bell on his collar to help him find his way around.
“We all feel a tremendous sadness that Brodie isn’t here for the Scottish Open – but Skye won’t be far away from the action.”
Robert, head greenkeeper at the club for almost 20 years, says he could not do his work without the company of faithful dog Skye.
He said: “Skye’s a constant companion and is always by my side. When the accident happened nothing could be done to repair Skye’s damaged optic nerves but there was never a question of what we were going to do – we just adapted life at home and work to suit him and now you’d never know he was blind.
“Although he’s lost his sight he knows every bunker on the course and uses his sense of smell and hearing to get around.”
Skye and Brodie will be starring in adverts for Aberdeen Asset Management which will be broadcast in the USA during live coverage of the Scottish Open.
The adverts were filmed just one week before Brodie died.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected at the course for the impending Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Players like Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Aberdeen’s own Paul Lawrie will do battle for a share of the £3 million prize money this weekend.
Robert added: “Holding the Scottish Open here at Royal Aberdeen has to be one of my proudest moments. And when the first players reach the 9th tee, I know that Brodie and Shep will be right there in spirit feeling pretty proud of themselves too.”