Tom Watson, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, was presented with a solid silver player’s badge today to mark the announcement by the R&A that he will receive an exemption to play in the Open Championship in 2015 at St. Andrews. This is the last year of Watson’s exemption after losing a playoff to Stewart Cink at Turnberry in 2009.
The St. Andrews exemption will mark the 40th anniversary of Watson’s first Open Championship victory at Carnoustie.
“I was hoping you were going to do this,” Watson told R&A executive director Michael Tate in a news conference announcing Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie as the Open venues in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“Walking across the Swilcan Bridge (in 2010), thinking that was going to be the last time I walked across it in the Open at St Andrews was a pretty sad time,” he said.
Watson will make his 36th appearance at the Open Championship in two weeks at Royal Liverpool.