One round from golf’s greatest feat
TURNBERRY, Scotland – Can he do it? Yes.
Will he do it? Who knows?
Two things are certain. One, you know who “he” is. Two, Tom Watson, aka he, has a good chance to win the 138th British Open just 46 days shy of his 60th birthday.
The third-round leader by one, Watson has a good chance because he’s playing well and he probably is the best links golfer of the last two or three or more generations. He has won five Opens and three Senior British Opens. He knows how to maneuver his chess pieces around a place like Turnberry, where he outdueled Nicklaus in 1977, had a chance in 1994 and won the Senior Open in 2003.
Over the last three days he has gone from nice, nostalgic story to real threat. I don’t think he’ll go away. He might not win, but I think he’ll be in the mix. Why? His experience and the fact Turnberry is a positional course where it’s hard to get the ball close, where hitting an approach 30 feet away is fine on most holes.
Should he win, the achievement would move to the top of greatest golf feats – better than Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters at 46.
On the cusp of 60, he would set a record that never would be broken. Most records are chipped away at, beaten incrementally here and there. But Watson would bust Julius Boros’ record of oldest major winner by more than 11 years. Boros was 48 years, 4 months, 18 days when he won the 1968 PGA Championship.
What’s more, Watson would tie Harry Vardon with six Claret Jugs. And, remarkably, he’d win majors 34 years apart. That would be another unbreakable one.
Go ahead and dream. It could happen.
|POS||PLAYER NAME||SCORING TO PAR||ROUNDS||TOTAL|
|1||…. Tom Watson||-4||18||+1||65||70||71||–||206|
|T2||…. Ross Fisher||-3||18||E||69||68||70||–||207|
|T2||…. Mathew Goggin||-3||18||-1||66||72||69||–||207|
|T4||…. Lee Westwood||-2||18||E||68||70||70||–||208|
|T4||…. Retief Goosen||-2||18||+1||67||70||71||–||208|
|T6||…. Jim Furyk||-1||18||E||67||72||70||–||209|
|T6||…. Stewart Cink||-1||18||+1||66||72||71||–||209|
|T8||…. Thongchai Jaidee||E||18||-1||69||72||69||–||210|
|T8||…. Bryce Molder||E||18||-3||70||73||67||–||210|