Jack Nicklaus confirmed as honorary citizen of St Andrews ahead of The Open

Jack Nicklaus has officially been confirmed as an honorary citizen of St. Andrews ahead of the 150th Open Championship.

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 13 Jul 2022
Jack Nicklaus confirmed as honorary citizen of St Andrews ahead of The Open

Quite a week for Jack Nicklaus, who was finally confirmed as an honorary citizen of St. Andrews.

Nicklaus, 82, is making his final appearance at The Open this week. He reportedly left past champions in floods of tears as he finally said goodbye to the Home of Golf on Tuesday at the annual dinner.

The 18-time major champion, who has won three Opens, said farewell to his playing days here when he made his final appearance way back in 2005.

It was an extraordinary moment for the Golden Bear as he stood, tears in his eyes, on the Swilken Bridge and waved to the crowd before going on to make birdie at the iconic 18th.

Nicklaus later said he didn’t return to Opens held here – in 2010 and 2015 – because he didn’t want to dilute what happened in 2005.

But he decided that he simply had to come back for the 150th Open to receive this accolade. He is only the third American, after Bobby Jones and Benjamin Franklin, to receive the honour.

The legendary golfer was joined by his wife Barbara. Also in attendance was Jose Maria Olazabal, Catriona Matthew, Lee Trevino, Sir Bob Charles and Sandy Lyle who also received honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews.

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When asked earlier in the week what makes St. Andrews so special, Nicklaus said: “Well, that's part of my speech tomorrow [at the dinner].

“But when I came here in 1964, I couldn't believe that St Andrews was a golf course that would still test golfers of that time.

“Now, that's, what, 60 years ago? Close. Anyway, I didn't think -- it still tests the golfers at this time. It's a magical golf course.

“The conditions, the weather, where you actually choose to put the pins, whether the golf course gets dry, whether the golf course gets wet, all those things that make St Andrews a magical place.

“And to believe the game of golf essentially started here, and it just absolutely is mind-boggling to me that it still stands up to the golfers of today.

“I tell you if you get a little bit of weather, anytime you get it, it will tell you real fast how fast it makes you stand up to it.”

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