150th Open: St Andrews honours Jack Nicklaus and some of golf's best-loved greats

The town of St Andrews and its ancient university honoured legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus alongside some of the sport’s best-loved players in a packed ceremony in the Younger Hall.

Jack Nicklaus was made an Honorary Citizen of St Andrews by The Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council at today's major public ceremony.

He is one of only three US citizens to receive this honour, the others being fellow golfer Bobby Jones, and Benjamin Franklin in 1759.

Golfing greats Lee Trevino, José María Olazábal, Catriona Matthew, Sir Bob Charles and Sandy Lyle received honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews in recognition of their achievements and outstanding service to the game of golf.

Speaking about the honour at today's ceremony Dr Nicklaus said: “In 1978, the people of St Andrews welcomed us with open arms, from the rooftops, hanging out the windows as we finished. I’ll never forget that reception we received – it was unbelievable.

“When I returned in 1984 I was bestowed an Honorary Degree: you humbled me then just as you are humbling me again today. It remains one of my proudest moments, as a golfer and as a person.

"I am now 82 years old, and 44 years removed from my last win. As Grantland Rice wrote, 'they rarely remember as quickly as they forget'.

“So, allow me to simply say thank you for remembering and not forgetting me and, most important, thank you for allowing me to be what I often felt I was for many decades – one of you. Thank you, St Andrews."

Dr Nicklaus, who is already an honorary graduate of the University of St Andrews, is 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.