Tom Watson heads to British Open playoff with Cink after missing chance at historic win

By Paul Newberry, AP
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Watson heads to British Open playoff with Cink

TURNBERRY, Scotland — Fifty-nine-year-old Tom Watson is heading to a four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink at the British Open after squandering a chance for a historic victory in regulation.

Watson missed an 8-foot putt to win on the 72nd hole.

Watson pulled ahead with a tap-in birdie at the par-5 17th, then made things tough at the final hole when he muscled his approach shot past the flag. From the back fringe, he putted 8 feet past the flag on the other side, and he didn’t come close on the potential winning putt.

The bogey left him with a 2-over 72 for the round and a 2-under 278 total. Cink, playing four groups ahead, made a birdie at the 18th hole for a 69.

Watson, a five-time Open champion, is trying to become the oldest major champion in golf history.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) — Tom Watson is tied with England’s Lee Westwood for the British Open lead with three holes remaining as he tries to become the oldest major champion in golf history.

The 59-year-old Watson struggled to a 37 on the front side, giving away the one-shot lead he had after 54 holes. Westwood led by two at the turn over Watson and his partner in the final group, Mathew Goggin of Australia.

Watson bogeyed the 14th, but Westwood gave the stroke right back with a bogey of his own at 15. They were tied at 2 under, with Goggin another stroke behind after two straight bogeys.

Watson is a five-time Open champion who would easily be the oldest golfer ever to win a major. Julius Boros was 48 when he captured the 1968 PGA Championship.

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