He was synonymous with the Open Championship as a player and commentator for more than 70 years.

But this week’s 149th staging of golf’s oldest major will be the first without Peter Alliss since he died aged 89 in December.

The "Voice of Golf" – the last of BBC television’s iconic original team of sports commentators – will be succeeded at Royal St George’s by long-time heir Andrew Cotter, who will call the corporation’s highlights coverage alongside Ken Brown and lesser-known Ned Michaels, who also worked alongside Alliss at the last Open two years ago.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Michaels spent six years as a member of both the Asian and European Tours, winning three titles including the Philippine Open, but his career was brought to a premature end by a number of serious injuries and he retired from the sport in 2009, prompting a move into broadcasting. 

The BBC has decided to stick with the remaining trio for their coverage this year, meaning that no replacement has been drafted in and giving Michaels a more prominent role alongside the two Scots.

The coronavirus crisis denied Alliss the chance to celebrate a 60th year working for the BBC at the tournament after it was cancelled last summer.

But he was given what proved to be one last hurrah in November when the corporation allowed him to commentate on its highlights coverage of the postponed Masters from his Surrey home.

That was the first Masters he had not attended in person for 54 years as well as the first without live terrestrial coverage for 57 years after Sky Sports secured the exclusive rights.

Cotter, who also commentates on the Olympics, Wimbledon, the Six Nations and The Boat Race for the corporation, began working alongside Alliss in 2003.

He led the BBC’s highlights coverage of April’s Masters – its first major golf tournament since Alliss’ death.

Fellow Scot Eilidh Barbour will once again present the BBC’s coverage of the Open, for which it lost the live rights to Sky in 2015 after 60 years. Barbour succeeded Hazel Irvine in 2017.

Former Ryder Cup player Brown has long been the BBC’s lead golf analyst.

The 149th Open begins on Thursday, with the Cotter-led highlights starting at 8pm on BBC Two.