Golf

Ex-Open champions set for charity match

Five-time Open Championship winners Tom Watson and Peter Thomson will join other former champions in a special challenge match the day before this year’s tournament starts at St Andrews on July 16.

The Champion Golfers Challenge will consist of a four-hole team-based shootout, with groups of three or four playing the 1st, 2nd, 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course for a prize of £50,000 which will go to a charity of the winning team’s choice.

Australian Thomson will mark the 60th anniversary of his win at St Andrews in 1955, while Watson will be playing on the 40th anniversary of his debut in the Open in 1975, when he won the first of his five Claret Jugs at nearby Carnoustie.

Joining them will be current world No 1 Rory McIlroy, while three-time champions Gary Player, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods will also play alongside the 1963 and 1969 champions, Bob Charles and Tony Jacklin, and more recent winners such as Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington.

The occasion will also be used to pay tribute to Australia’s Kel Nagle, who won the Centenary Open in 1960 at St Andrews and who passed away in January at the age of 94.

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