Legends of the game bow out at The Open

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Two legends of the Open have said their goodbyes to golf's oldest golf major this week. Never again will they experience the feeling of walking over Swilcan Bridge, with galleries bellowing their name and soaking up their accolade.

Sir Nick Faldo remains the most successful English golfer of all time, having won six majors including two Open Championships. After his torrid round of 83 on Thursday and confessing to "a bottle of Glenmorangie" so he can be "refuelled" for Friday, he went on to post a 71 in his last ever competitive round.


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Speaking from experience, I know you can't go out and play that well, round a course playing as difficult as St Andrews was playing on Friday, with a hangover. So he may have been just adding some humour to what was obviously a disappointing day on Thursday.  

What Sir Nick had to say

Having been able to get his picture on Swilcan Bridge, wearing the iconic yellow pringle jumper he wore when he won his first Open Championship, Sir Nick Faldo had time to reflect on an emotional farewell.

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"I was just trying to say, 'Thank you, St Andrews'. That's why I looked at the gods on 17 - I thought, thanks very much for that. "I felt pretty beat up on Thursday, but that was one of the great moments of any career, making a three there and walking the walk. That won't get any better."

"If I've just shot 71 and done all that today, I think that might be my last walk. A three at 17 - how could I do that? I think I've only done it twice, the second time 10 years ago. That relaxed me at the last because I said, 'I don't care what I do up 18 now because I've just made three at 17. That's unbelievable."

Tom Watson also says farewell

The five time 'champion golfer of year' was also walking the walk for the last time. No tears were shed, despite his son (and caddie) letting the emotions get the better of him of the 18th green. Why should there be tears? Tom, you have given us some of the greatest moments in major history, you will live long in our memories.

"I didn't know how I was going to feel walking across the (Swilcan) Bridge but I do know I looked up in the sky and I said I know there are a lot of other people watching me - a lot of loved ones. It was a special time." said Watson.

Realising the emotions were catching up with him, the American continued with, "I know I've been rambling a whole hell of a lot. I'm sorry. I guess the emotion has taken a hold of me to a degree and I apologise for that. It's been one heck of a run. To be in front of you for the last time, I wish I could be a little bit more eloquent in what I'm saying."

The fact of the matter is, that where Sir Nick Faldo was able to 'bow out' under his own terms, age and exemptions have ruled out Tom Watson from playing this major ever again. Watson finished behind Stewart Cink in the Open in 2009, which gave him five years exemption to The Open, but it expires this year.

He is more than welcome to attempt to qualifying through the qualifying competitions, or winning the Seniors Open, but for now, it looks that the American's love affair with The Open has come to an end.

Thanks for the memories gentleman, they will last a life time.

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