Tony Jacklin experienced an emotional end to his Open career after missing the cut on Friday.
The 61-year-old, who last made the Open cut in 1999, had not intended to play this year until realising Jack Nicklaus would be playing his last championship.
"I thought Lytham, where I won, would be my last in 2001," said Jacklin, who won the tournament in 1969.
"I am glad I decided to play. I got a tremendous ovation. It was very heart-warming, very emotional."
Jacklin was playing in the championship for the first time since 2001, and for only the fourth time since 1989.
Finishing at 11 over, Jacklin admitted his lack of practice had prevented him from doing himself justice.
"I enjoyed the front nine but struggled coming home both day," he said.
"But when you are not playing any golf at all, it is to be expected."
TONY JACKLIN FACTFILE
Date of Birth: 7/8/1944, Scunthorpe
Turned pro: 1962
Major victories: The Open (1969), US Open (1970)
Ryder Cup record: Played 35, won 13, lost 14, halved 8
A four-time captain, Jacklin led Europe to victory in 1985 and 1987 and a draw in 1989
Jacklin remains one of the most popular figures in golf, and with two major wins and a superb Ryder Cup captaincy record, his place in the sport's history is assured.
"When you are young, you do not have an appreciation of what you are going through," he said.
"You just go through the motions . Gradually age gets everyone. You just do what you can."
Jacklin also joined the rest of the golfing world in paying tribute to Nicklaus.
"His legacy to the game is not just the 18 majors he won but the spirit in which he played the game," said Jacklin, a business partner of Nicklaus.
"It was exemplary. Jack never lost sight of the big picture."