Wat­son sets sights on record


Less than a week af­ter his emo­tional farewell to the Bri­tish Open at St. An­drews, Tom Wat­son is go­ing for a record fourth ti­tle in the Bri­tish Se­nior Open on the Old Course at Sun­ning­dale.

The 65-year-old Wat­son won the se­niors event at Turn­berry in 2003, Royal Aberdeen in 2005 and Muir­field in 2007.

“I’ve had a hard look at the course and re­mem­bered some of the things that you need to have in your ar­se­nal to play this course,” Wat­son said Wed­nes­day. “I have to go through a lot of play­ers to win, and it would be ex­tra spe­cial at my age.

“I hope on Sun­day night you are ask­ing me the ques­tion: ‘How does it feel to be Se­nior Open cham­pion for the fourth time?”’

Wat­son missed the cut last week in his fi­nal ap­pear­ance in the Bri­tish Open.

Bern­hard Langer strolled to a 13-shot vic­tory on the fast hard links at Royal Porth­cawl in South Wales last year, and the U.S.based Ger­man is among the favourites this time.

With con­di­tions on the heath­land course on the out­skirts of Lon­don much the same as last July for the start of this year’s cham­pi­onship, Langer be­gins his ti­tle de­fence Thurs­day along­side Miguel An­gel Jimenez and Fred Cou­ples, who won the ti­tle at Turn­berry in 2012.

Langer, who played all four rounds at St. An­drews last week, con­sid­ers his game to be in good shape.

“I think I’m fairly close,” he said. “There’s al­ways im­prove- ment pos­si­ble here and there. But it’s not far away. Just try­ing to keep it in play and avoid mis­takes and hope­fully make tons of birdies.”

Scot­land’s Colin Mont­gomerie and U.S. Se­nior Open cham­pion Jeff Mag­gert will tee off in a stel­lar three-ball along­side Wat­son.

“I know my way around here as much as any­one,” Mont­gomerie said. “I do per­haps have an ad­van­tage of know­ing the course. But the stan­dard of play is ex­tremely high, a hair’s breadth from the PGA Tour it­self, and most of the top se­niors are here.”

Also in the field is Loren Roberts, win­ner at Turn­berry in 2006 and Sun­ning­dale in 2009, the only other time the Berk­shire course staged the Se­nior Open.


Tom Wat­son dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Bri­tish Open Golf Cham­pi­onship at the Old Course, St. An­drews, Scot­land, Fri­day.

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