Tom Watson is an eight-time major champion and arguably the best links gofer who has ever lived. At the age of 69, Watson has retired from competitive links golf, as he made his final appearance at the Senior Open last week at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
On Saturday after playing his third round, Watson announced to the media that he would be retiring after Sunday's final round. The American was given a sensational send off, firstly as he walked down the 18th fairway and then another after sinking his putt on the 18th green.
Watson bogeyed the last three holes to shoot a 73 and finish nine over for the tournament. Bernhard Langer, 61, finished six under par, to win his fourth Senior Open title, a new record.
Between 1975 and 1983, Watson won five Open Championships. In 2009, aged 59, Watson famously came painfully close to winning it again, but missed an eight-foot putt for par on the 18th, and then losing in a play-off with Stewart Cink. Watson also won the Masters in 1977 and 1981 and the U.S Open in 1982.
During Watson's senior career, he never missed a cut at the Senior Open and remains one of just three players to win both the Open and the Senior Open, alongside Gary Player and Bob Charles.
"It’s a sensible assessment of the current state of my game," said Watson.
"I just don’t have enough tools in my toolbox any more, so this is it regarding the Senior Open and the US Senior Open.
"I’m going to concentrate on my new passion, which is competing on the back of a horse in a sport known as cutting. We talk about people riding off into the sunset, well in my case I’m going to be doing so literally, on the back of a horse."
Watson made sure to give the British public one more shout out, who have supported him since he arrived on the scene of links golf in 1975.
"It would be remiss of me not to give them a shout out," he said.
"There are no galleries to compare in their knowledge of the game, and I loved showing off for them.
"I had so many people following me every year I knew many of them by name! “C’mon Tom,” they’d shout, over and over. Yes, I have a plethora of warm memories."