07/20 09:00 CDT Watson shoots final-round 68 at British Open
Watson shoots final-round 68 at British Open
AP Sports Writer
HOYLAKE, England (AP) --- Tom Watson's ball rolled on to the 18th green at
Royal Liverpool on Sunday and most of the spectators in the horseshoe
grandstand gave him a prolonged standing ovation. And even a few shouts of
The five-time British Open champion, doffing his cap as he walked up the
fairway, has a way of doing that to a crowd, especially in Britain.
Watson's putt for eagle just missed, leaving him with a 4-under 68 and a climb
up the leaderboard past Tiger Woods, the man Ryder Cup captain Watson will
consider as one of his three picks for September's tournament at Gleneagles in
The 64-year-old Watson finished at 1-over 289 for the tournament, five strokes
better than Woods --- who had a 75 Sunday.
"The last putt on the last hole," Watson said. "It would have been nice to
shoot a 67 and end even par. But I played a really solid round of golf ... a
very good day from tee to green."
These days, Watson gets asked most about the Ryder Cup and not his own golf
On Sunday, that meant Woods and whether the game's biggest draw card, who is
just returning from back surgery, will be in Watson's thoughts in early
September --- when three players will be added to nine who automatically
qualify from points based on prize money earned in tournament play.
Asked if it was worrisome that he shot seven strokes better than a potential
captain's pick (Woods), Watson was non-committal: "It's just one day. It's a
snapshot. It's not a big deal."
Watson missed just one fairway on Sunday --- the 11th --- and said his strong
play gave him plenty of enthusiasm for next week's British Senior Open at Royal
Porthcawl in Wales.
"I don't know anything about the golf course, but it's fun to finish with a
birdie and finish the way I did, and get ready to go to the next tournament,"
Watson said. "You don't feel like you have a burden that you're taking with
Watson has always been a crowd favorite in Britain thanks to his five Open wins.
He'll no doubt be particularly popular in Scotland --- where he's won four of
those links titles (at Carnoustie, Turnberry, Muirfield and Royal Troon),
despite leading the Americans against Europe in the often fiery environment of
the Ryder Cup.
He'll make at least one more appearance in the British Open after being invited
back to St. Andrews for 2015. His fitness now or then shouldn't be a problem
--- he reminded everyone after the third round on Saturday that during
tournament weeks like this one, he walks at least 36 miles over six rounds of
The guy most impressed with Watson on Sunday was his playing partner,
Australian John Senden.
"My golf today was to see if I could catch him, but he just kept on playing
great," said Senden, who shot 71.
"It was a thrill to be out there with him. I've played with many of the legends
of the game before --- Tiger, Phil, Ernie and Greg Norman --- but none the
stature of what Tom Watson brings to the table."