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British Open end for Nicklaus

LONDON -- Jack Nicklaus said yesterday the British Open will be the end of his tournament career.

Nicklaus, 65, will play the British Open at St. Andrews for the last time when the tournament is held July 14-17. He has not played in the Open since it was last held at St. Andrews in 2000, and is returning only because the Royal & Ancient Golf Club moved up the Old Course in the rotation to give Nicklaus one last chance.

British Open champions are exempt until they are 65. Nicklaus won the claret jug three times, including twice at St. Andrews in 1970 and 1978.

''From a tournament standpoint that will be it for me," Nicklaus said during a promotional appearance in Britain. ''I will play a few skins games and father-sons, but from any kind of tournament involvement, that's it.

''I love St. Andrews," Nicklaus said. ''It's been a great part of my career."

Nicklaus missed the cut at this year's Masters and said he no longer would play that major. On his final hole, he brushed away tears and hugged his oldest son, Jackie, who was caddying for him.

''I expect I'll be just as emotional at St. Andrews," Nicklaus said. ''I'm a sentimental old fool. I enjoy being part of history and what's going on, but I don't consider myself competitive any more. Hopefully when I get to St. Andrews I will have some kind of game. It won't be great, but I hope not to embarrass myself. I will enjoy it."

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