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Vanderbilt alum Brandt Snedeker would be happy to know there are at least two people at Royal Birkdale rooting hard for him at the 137th Open Championship. (Photo: Getty Images)

Spoor Blog: Surprised to find a Southern drawl in Southport

Print News's Mark Spoor spotted him and his wife a mile away. After all, someone wearing a crisp, black Vanderbilt Commodores baseball cap sure sticks out when he's so far from home.

By Mark Spoor, PGATOUR.COM Coordinating Producer

SOUTHPORT, England -- While walking over to the refreshment pavilion Wednesday afternoon to grab lunch (by the way, ordering Margarita Pizza in England gets you something completely different than it does in the States), we saw a man wearing a Vanderbilt hat.

Boy, am I glad we stopped to offer him our pity.

His name is Ronald Scott. He's a weathered, experienced gentleman with a mile-wide smile that never seems to leave his face. His card says he's an investment guy, but there is nothing stuffy about him.

He's in Southport with his wife, Elana, a charming woman that appears to be of nearly equal experience. She gives the impression that she'd like nothing better than to invite you over to her house, sit you on her front porch and fix you a glass of lemonade.

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It was refreshing to hear the southern drawl of this Nashville-based couple so far from home. What's more, what came out of their mouths was enough to drop me.

Turns out, the Scotts have not missed an Open Championship since Turnberry in 1986. That's not all. They haven't missed a Masters since 1962.

I'll give you a minute to let that wash over you.

Everybody OK? Good.

The Scotts have people they are rooting for this week. Of course, Vanderbilt grad Brandt Snedeker is on the list, as is Lee Westwood, mostly because, as Elana said, nobody really remembers how he did so well at the U.S. Open.

"Plus, he's cute," she added with a giggle that you might have thought came from a schoolyard.

These two also agree on their favorite memory from their golf travels. It's Jack's win at Augusta in 1986. No question.

"It was just so emotional," Ronald said with a tone that suggests he'd like nothing better than to re-live it. "Nobody thought he'd win that tournament at the age of 46. It was just amazing."

Ronald has some strong views about golf. His favorite Open Championship venue? Turns out, it's Royal Birkdale. "It's just more fan-friendly," he said. "Plus, I just love the course. It's what golf should be about."

I asked Ron his views on the U.S. Open -- and the floodgates were open.

"I'm not a big fan of the USGA," he said. "The way they set up some of the golf courses for the U.S. Open is just crazy. Why do they do that? They think that not breaking par is some badge of honor, or something.

"If the best players in the world can't break par on your golf course, then there's something wrong with your golf course."

Before rushing off to catch up with my colleagues and grab a bite to eat, Elana stopped me and said, "I'm from Kentucky, so even though he's not here, I always root for Kenny Perry."

She then told me that she and Ron will be at Valhalla for the Ryder Cup. Their son lives near Louisville, so they'll be staying with him. They're very excited.

So am I. Maybe I'll stop by for a glass of lemonade.

PUB REPORT: Found another great spot last night called the Hesketh Arms. It was there that I enjoyed quite possibly the largest piece of fish ever offered to one man. It was spectacular.

We met up with our old pal, Jimmy, who works for IMG Media, a partner of ours when it comes to Open Championship time. He's a short, muscular, middle-aged Scotsman with not a hint of hair on his head. He's one of those guys that seem to constantly have a party wherever he goes.

I had met Jimmy last year at Carnoustie and was instantly impressed by him. He's the guy that handles all the production services stuff for IMG and he also does some work with the World's Strongest Man competition. He also has one of those accents that you could just listen to all day.

We had heard Jimmy would be at the Hesketh last night and immediately got directions. One of his co-workers came to our table and said he was sorry to tell us that Jimmy would not be coming, but his brother would be. He steps aside and there's Jimmy, wearing a gray wig that looks like it would be worn by an elder Beatle.

As is always the case with Jimmy, hugs and hilarity ensued.

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