By Sam Tremlett
The 1996 Open champion bids farewell to The Open Championship this week.
Tom Lehman's Emotional Farewell To The Open
The Open Championship saw plenty of good golf on the opening two days of the 2019 tournament at Royal Portrush this week. But we also bid farewell to an immensely successful and likeable American professional in Tom Lehman who was playing in his last Open.
The 1996 Open champion said goodbye to everyone watching in an emotional moment by walking up the 18th hole alongside his son, Thomas.
The American who played in several Ryder Cups and got to the world number one ranking in the men's game had struggled over the two days shooting 12-over par. But this had little importance as the 60-year-old was clearly fighting intense emotions walking up the fairway.
The reason this is his last Open Championship is because of one of the rules in terms of pen qualification. As a past champion Lehman was eligible to keep competing in the tournament until he was aged 60 or under. As we mentioned above, Lehman turned 60 earlier this year in March which meant 2019 would be his last.
Lehman, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour will now in all likelihood go and ply his trade on the PGA Tour Champions where he has already become one of the most successful players competing there. He has won three Senior Major titles to go along with nine other tournament victories.
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Speaking after the round in a press conference, Lehman said;
"There was emotion for sure. You don't really know how you're going to react to the last thing of something. And this one was very sweet and joyful. Tears of joy. I really expected to play well this week. I've been playing pretty steadily back home. Hitting the ball extremely well and driving it great. So my whole thing this week was I think this is a good course for me. And of course I didn't play that well."
Talking about having his son on the bag and the walk up 18 the American said; "I just said to him how much I loved him. There was nobody in the world I'd rather be walking down the fairway with right here than you. It means a lot to me you're here by my side. This may be my last one, but maybe the next time I'll be caddying for you. Hopefully that comes true
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