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St Andrews to host Senior Open Championship for first time in 2018

Martin Slumber, chief executive of the R&A, with European Tour CEO Keith Pelley. Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The Senior Open Championship will be held at St Andrews for the first time in 2018, the R&A and European Tour have announced.

St Andrews has regularly staged the Open Championship, including last year when Zach Johnson lifted the Claret Jug, but the famous Scottish course has never before hosted the senior version.

Five-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson said in a press release: "The one thing that I hope that I can rectify is that I left my competitive Open Championship history with that three putt, and prior to that a shank. So I hope that I can do it a little bit better in my next appearance at St Andrews.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have another appearance. I've had a great run I'm 66 years old right now. I don't feel 66. Especially over here in Hawaii, where you wake up every day and it's a perfect day and golf is in the air over here.

"But I still feel as if just yesterday I played in my first Open Championship at Carnoustie. I remember the trip over and the subsequent years of success and failure. It's part of who I am, and I'm very grateful for having had the opportunity to play in it, and obviously do so well. I think with the event being at the Old Course at St Andrews, it's going to be a complete success. I don't think that there could be a more successful tournament on our tour. "

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: "There have been many great championships held at St Andrews over the years and it is entirely fitting that the Senior Open should be played at the Home of Golf in 2018.

"We know that the galleries in St Andrews are passionate about golf and I'm sure they will turn out in strong numbers to see so many renowned senior players competing. It promises to be another wonderful event for golf fans in Scotland."

Six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo, who claimed the second of his three Open victories at St Andrews in 1990, added: "It is absolutely fantastic to see the Senior Open Championship going to St Andrews in 2018. This certainly gives me another golfing goal and I only hope my game is good enough to give it a go on the Old Course!"

American Marco Dawson won last year's Senior Open at Sunningdale.

This year's event -- the 30th edition -- will be played at Carnoustie with Royal Porthcawl hosting the event in 2017.

PA Sport contributed to this report.