'I plan to return next season'

Golf British Open

Tom Watson may have failed in his mission impossible to win the British Open on Sunday but he is already looking forward to having another crack in the 2010 edition at the 'home of golf'.
unyielding spirit: Tom Watson impressed all with his  remarkable outing in the British Open. AP
"I feel like I can play St Andrews," the 59-year-old told reporters after losing a four-hole playoff to fellow American Stewart Cink by six strokes.

"I still have some of the shots to be able to play that course."
Watson, who came agonisingly close to becoming golf's oldest major champion at the weekend, said much would depend in 12 months time on the weather conditions at the famous Scottish layout.

"If the wind comes from the west there I have a hard time on that course," said the five-times British Open champion.

Fellow American Justin Leonard, who finished three strokes out of Sunday's playoff, said no one could play seaside layouts like Watson.

"He is the king of links golf as far as Americans are concerned and maybe throughout the world," said 1997 Open winner Leonard.

"It's great to see him come over here and it would be nice to see him add a few more years to his exemption."

The R&A organisers have a rule in place which prevents over-60s from competing in the Open and, unless it is changed, St Andrews will be Watson's final appearance in golf's oldest major championship.

Watson, who led going into Sunday's final round and was right in the thick of the title hunt all week, said he had a whale of a time on the Ailsa Course.

"It was fun," said the eight-times major winner. "It was just like my son said: 'Have fun Dad'.

"It was fun having the kids out there looking up at you and thinking: 'What are you doing out here?', and then saying: 'All right, nice going, you can still play'."

Watson said the one abiding memory he would take from a great week would be the walk up the last hole. "Coming up the 18th, those memories are hard to forget," he said. "Coming into the amphitheatre of the crowd and having them cheering you on like they do for me here.

"The feeling is mutual and that warmth makes you feel human. It makes you feel so good,” the veteran American golfer said.

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