Tom Watson, five-time winner of The Open and three-time Senior Open Champion, has announced that Sunday's final round of The Senior Open Royal Lytham & St Annes will be the last competitive round of his storied links golf career.

The 69-year-old, who has competed in The Open an astonishing 38 times and has made the cut in all 18 of his appearances at The Senior Open, will bid farewell to his beloved fans in the United Kingdom tomorrow during the final round of Europe’s only Senior major.

In a press conference after his third round, Watson confirmed this will be his last appearance at The Senior Open and that he has also played his final U.S. Senior Open, but will continue to play professional golf in a limited capacity.

The Kansas City native first competed in The Open in 1975 and claimed his first Major Championship victory in thrilling fashion as he became only the third golfer in the modern era to win The Open on his first attempt when he defeated Jack Newton in an 18-hole play-off at Carnoustie.

Watson would go on to be named the Champion Golfer of the Year again in 1977 at Turnberry, 1980 at Muirfield, 1982 at Royal Troon and 1983 at Royal Birkdale. Upon turning 50 years old, the American continued his dominance as he lifted the Senior Open Trophy first in 2003 at Turnberry—becoming only the third player in history to win The Open and The Senior Open—again in 2005 at Royal Aberdeen and a third time in 2007 at Murifield.

"It's a sensible assessment of the current state of my game," he said. "I just don't have enough tools in my toolbox anymore, so this is it regarding the Senior Open and the US Senior Open.

And I'm good with it (the decision). I'm very good with it. And will I play any more tournaments? I might play a few selected tournaments still. I played with Darren Clarke and (MIgeul Angel) Jimenez the first two rounds here, and I'm three clubs shorter than Darren and two clubs shorter than Jimenez.

"And when I was one club shorter, I felt like maybe I still could compete. But when you get that short, the realization is there that you really can't compete. It's not to say that I don't love the competition. I love the competition.

"I think many of you know what my real passion is right now, it's not particularly playing golf; it's competing on the back of a horse. And I started this about three years ago, and it's called cutting.But I'm going to focus my competition on something a little bit different, on the back of a horse now."