"It's been a great year for me. I've really enjoyed being the Open champion.
"They always remember the champions here but the crowd have been great here. I think they've forgiven me for beating Tom last year! Hopefully I can go away and come back with a strong challenge again next year."
Tom Lehman, the champion in 1996, was understandably buoyant after finishing his final round with a flourish.
The American eagled the par-four 18th to finish on four under, giving the 51-year-old the honour of finishing as the highest-placed defending champion of the week.
"I'm feeling good and I still believe I can have good weeks in the future...but I don't think I could get to 15 under," said Lehman, who also ends up as the best-placed man older than 50.
Jeong finishes as top amateur
Korean Jin Jeong - 31 years Lehman's junior - also finished with a stunning eagle at the 18th as he won the Silver Medal for being the leading amateur in style.
Jeong completed a fine week with a level-par 72 to finish on four under par and admitted afterwards that he planned to turn professional in time for the 2011 Open at Sandwich.
"It was a great finish on the last hole - I don't think I can forget this forever," he told BBC Sport. "I got a lot of confidence from this tournament and I really enjoyed this week.
"I want to play the Masters next year so I will probably [turn pro] after that."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.