Tom Watson plays key role as Senior Open heads to St Andrews

2016 02 Getty Images 90540042
• St Andrews to host Senior Open for first time in 2018
• Five-time Open champ Tom Watson played a key role
• "There was a missing hole in the Senior Open's history"


Five-time Open champion Tom Watson is set for another final hurrah around the Old Course after playing a key role in the 2018 Senior Open going to St Andrews.

The 66-year-old, who thought he’d walked over the Swilcan Bridge for the final time at last year’s Open, will have another opportunity to do so from July 26-29, 2018, as the Old Course hosts the Senior Open for the first time in its history.

The decision, made jointly by the R&A and the European Tour, completes the full set of majors to be held over the Old Course and Watson was delighted to hear that he has another chance to play the famed links after finishing his Open career with ‘a shank and a three-putt’.
"I hope that I can do a little bit better in my next appearance at St Andrews" - Tom Watson

“The one thing I hope that I can rectify is I left my competitive Open Championship history with a three-putt and, prior to that, a shank,” said Watson, a three-time winner of the Senior Open title. “So I hope that I can do a little bit better in my next appearance at St Andrews.


Tom Watson

Watson, who was speaking over the phone from Hawaii at the press conference in the R&A clubhouse, added: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have that next appearance at St Andrews. One of the things I said to the organisers was that the Senior Open is played on Open Championship venues – it’s Carnoustie this year – and that is one of the main reasons why people come over and play it.

“I was surprised that it hadn’t been played here. I think there’s a missing hole in the Senior Open’s history. That’s essentially all I said to the organisers and, lo and behold, here we are.”

The Senior Open celebrates its 30th anniversary at Carnoustie this summer and, for Watson, 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of his first appearance around the Old Course at an Open Championship, where he co-led with Peter Oosterhuis after three rounds only to fall away on the final day.


Rolex Senior Open Press Conference

“It’s a real joy to see the Senior Open finally come and be played here, and it really will round off and complement the history of this wonderful golf course,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers. “Over the years, many of the competitors who will be competing in 2018 will have graced these fairways and performed and enjoyed themselves in many ways.

“For me, and I think for many others, it will be a real pleasure to watch them tackle the course again and bring back many memories, as well as new experiences.

Senior Open to St Andrews :: Your thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Senior Open heading to the Old Course? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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