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Watson retiring from The Senior Open, U.S. Senior Open starting next year

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Tom Watson will play his final Senior Open round on Sunday.

Watson told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on Saturday that he will not play The Senior Open or U.S. Senior Open beginning next year.

“The why is pretty simple: I can’t compete against these guys anymore,” Watson said. “I don’t hit the ball far enough, and when you can’t compete, there’s no sense ­– I’m a realist. I understand how to play the game, and I just don’t have enough tools in the tool box to compete against these guys out here.”

Full-field scores from the Senior Open Championship

Watson, 69, made the cut by two shots Friday at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, and he followed with a 2-over 72 in the third round. Last month, he tied for 17th at the U.S. Senior Open.

In his career, Watson has won three Senior Opens, most recently in 2007. His best finish in the U.S. Senior Open is a playoff loss in 2002. Watson’s last PGA Tour Champions victory came at the 2011 Senior PGA, his sixth senior major victory. His last top-10 in a senior major came at the 2015 U.S. Senior Open, when he tied for seventh.

Watson, who won eight major championships before transitioning to the senior tour in 2000, hasn't played a regular major since the 2016 Masters, a year after he played his last Open Championship, missing the cut at St. Andrews.

Watson told Lewis that while he still plans to play competitive golf moving forward, he will cut back his schedule. This week’s start is his seventh on the PGA Tour Champions this season.