Tiger Woods among group reduced to 'tears as Jack Nicklaus waves goodbye to The Open'

Sir Nick Faldo has revealed Jack Nicklaus left everybody in ‘tears’ at Tuesday evening’s champions dinner with Tiger Woods among those in attendance. Nicklaus became just the third American to become an honorary citizen of St Andrews this week in a special ceremony.

The three-time Open Champion won two of his three Claret Jugs at St Andrews and played his final major championship at the venue in 2005. He now follows in the footsteps of Bobby Jones and Benjamin Franklin, both of whom became honorary citizens of St Andrews in 1958 and 1759 respectively.

Nicklaus had not been back at the home of golf since making his final Open appearance back in 2005. And it appears as though the 82-year-old is preparing for this to be his last ever appearance at the annual champions dinner at The Open.

The very best golfers are invited to the champions dinner with the likes of Gary Player, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson and Ernie Els in attendance this year. The dinner itself is usually shrouded in some mystery as the players share stories from their own careers ahead of the tournament starting.

But six-time major winner Faldo has revealed that Nicklaus officially said “goodbye” to The Open in a memorable speech at the dinner, reducing all those in attendance to “tears”. He tweeted: “Champions dinner…Holy c*** Jack just said goodbye to the Open, we’re all in tears!”

Woods, who sits three majors behind Nicklaus’ record tally of 18 wins, was seated between the American golf icon and Gary Player for the main photo of those attending the champions dinner. And the 46-year-old is looking forward to following up the annual event with a shot at his third Claret Jug this week.

“In great company at tonight’s Past Champions Dinner,” he said. “The last few days have been so wonderful, and I cannot wait for a historic week of golf ahead.”

Greg Norman, who won The Open twice, was banned from attending the annual dinner event due to his involvement in the controversial LIV Golf series. The Australian is the CEO of LIV Golf and has challenged a number of golfers on their decision to speak out against the Saudi-backed league.


And the R&A made the decision to uninvite Norman for their champions dinner this week. Their statement read: “In response to enquiries regarding The R&A Celebration of Champions field and the Champions’ Dinner, we can confirm that we contacted Greg Norman to advise him that we decided not to invite him to attend on this occasion.

“The 150th Open is an extremely important milestone for golf and we want to ensure that the focus remains on celebrating the Championship and its heritage. Unfortunately, we do not believe that would be the case if Greg were to attend.

“We hope that when circumstances allow Greg will be able to attend again in future.”

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