HE waved goodbye to fans at the famous Swilcan bridge during his final appearance at The Open at St Andrews in 2005.

Having been the scene of two of his three Open victories, there are fond memories for golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Now he is to be made Honorary Citizen of St Andrews when the tournament returns to the Fife town in July for the 150th event.

Alongside Nicklaus, some of the world’s best-loved golfers will be honoured when The 150th Open returns to the Home of Golf.

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America's Lee Trevino and Spain's José María Olazábal will also be honoured alongside Scotland’s most successful female golfer, Catriona Matthew, the first European Solheim Cup captain to back-to-back victories in 2019 and 2021.

HeraldScotland: Jack Nicklaus will return to the scene of famous Open victoriesJack Nicklaus will return to the scene of famous Open victories

Fellow Scot Sandy Lyle, the first British player to earn the green jacket winning The Masters in 1988, and New Zealander Sir Bob Charles, who competed in the 'golden age' of professional golf in the 1960s and 1970s,  will also be honoured in a major public ceremony in the Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews, on Tuesday, July 12.

Nicklaus is to be made an Honorary Citizen of St Andrews by The Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council, while Trevino, Olazábal, Matthew, Charles and Lyle will receive honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews in recognition of their achievements and outstanding service to the game of golf.

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Entitled to go by the prestigious title of Dr Nicklaus, he already an honorary graduate of the University of St Andrews, he will be the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of St Andrews (the equivalent of the Freedom of the City) since Bobby Jones was made a Freeman of St Andrews in a ceremony in the Younger Hall in 1958. He will be one of only three US citizens to have received this honour, the other being Benjamin Franklin in 1759.

HeraldScotland: Three legends - from left Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary PlayerThree legends - from left Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player

Nicklaus has 18 Majors to his name and won The Open twice at St Andrews. He played his last Open in 2005 on the Old Course where, in the company of Tom Watson, he birdied the last hole in emotional scenes.

Well-known St Andrews golfer John Devlin will give a speech of tribute to Jack on behalf of the town, and honorary citizenship will be bestowed in the form of a scroll presented by the Provost of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council.

Nicklaus has said he is “deeply honoured’ by the invitation from the townspeople of St Andrews and will give a short speech of acceptance from the stage in the Younger Hall.

In the same ceremony, the University of St Andrews will present Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Laws to Lee Trevino, José María Olazábal, Catriona Matthew, Sir Bob Charles and Sandy Lyle.

HeraldScotland: Jack Nicklaus at St Andrews in 1984. Photo credit: The University of St Andrews Libraries and MuseumsJack Nicklaus at St Andrews in 1984. Photo credit: The University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums

These golfers join an illustrious roll of St Andrews’ honorary graduates which includes Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros, Peter Alliss, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Peter Thomson, Gary Player and Padraig Harrington.

After the ceremony, Nicklaus and the new honorary graduates will take part in a public procession in the town which is expected to draw thousands of well-wishers.

The event is open to the public, admission is free and by ticket only. Tickets can be obtained by emailing golfgraduation@st-andrews.ac.uk.