Jack Nicklaus, Freeman of St Andrews

Twice winner of The Open in St Andrews, Jack Nicklaus was named honorary citizen of the city on Tuesday July 12. He is the third American to obtain this distinction after Bobby Jones, also winner here in 1927, and… Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States!

Lionel VELLA, in St Andrews (Scotland)

Dressed in a red capeline, he evoked the crowd at the exit of the St Andrews Young Hall accompanied by his wife, Barbara. Proud ! Jack Nicklaus was made an honorary citizen by the town of St Andrews. ” When I won The Open in 1966 at Muirfield, I couldn’t speakexclaims the record holder for Grand Slam victories. I’m going through the same emotion right now… »

With tears in his eyes, Nicklaus, 82 today, winner of three British Opens, including two at St Andrews (1970 and 1978), joins two other illustrious Americans, also honorary citizens of the city: Bobby Joneswinner of The Open in 1927 on the Old Course and childhood hero of Nicklaus, and benjamin franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Privilege !

An exceptional love story

St Andrews Community Council had already decided to honor the ‘Blond Bear’ in 2005 but the measure did not receive enough votes. Once the resolution was re-proposed, the Board passed it unanimously.

We are back to the same hotel room Barbara and I stay in every time we come to St Andrews », underlines the one who took part in seven The Open here in the Holy of Holies. The last time in 2005, at age 65. ” I have an exceptional love affair with this place “, he added, very moved.

Jack Nicklaus first came to Scotland at the age of 19 as a student from Ohio State to take part in the 1959 Walker Cup at Muirfield. Legend has it that he immediately fell in love with St Andrews when he made his first trip there in 1964. A country that has never forgotten him since!

Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP

Leave a Comment