A visibly emotional Mark Calcavecchia said goodbye to the Open Championship on Friday.
More than three decades after claiming the Claret Jug at Royal Troon, the American bade farewell to the major in fitting fashion.
Like so many other greats of the game, Calcavecchia made one last walk over the Swilcan Bridge before taking the acclaim of the galleries at the Home of Golf.
“I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I felt it,” the 62-year-old said.
“I felt the emotions. Got a little mildly choked up, but all the way around, the last two days, the fans were great. They were cheering for me and pulling for me, and they’ll aware that this was my last Open. So that was pretty cool. It means a lot. It really does.”
After Calcavecchia’s final farewell was pushed back due to the tournament being cancelled in 2020 and then injuries last year, he whole family flew in from the US to savour the special occasion.
And despite missing the cut, and even though knee problems mean he won’t be able to tee it up at the Senior Open next week, the man known as “Calc” plans to stick around to soak up the atmosphere.
“My son, daughter, and son-in-law are here,” he said.
“They’ve never been here, so everybody’s having a great time. Forget about my golf. It wouldn’t have mattered if I shot a pair of 75s or a pair of 85s, which I nearly did.
“It was about playing one more, my last one here at the Home of Golf, which is really cool to be able to end it here.
“We’re going to hang around all weekend.”