Shortly after his third round at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Tom Watson announced that tomorrow will be the final competitive round of his storied links golf career. The farewell will mark the end of 56 Major appearances in the United Kingdom, which are considered to be the finest in links history.
The American won The Open in his first attempt in 1975 and went on to become Champion Golfer of the Year a total of five times. He then added three Senior Open titles to his unparalleled list of links accomplishments before, in 2009, as a 59-year-old, he took Stewart Cink to a four hole play-off for what would have been his sixth Claret Jug. Despite losing to Cink, who was 23 years younger than him, Watson defined what it meant to be a champion on the links.
In 18 appearances at The Senior Open, he never missed the cut. Tomorrow’s final round will be a victory lap in the truest sense when he tees off at 9:35 am. To be a part of history, you can purchase tickets here.
Royal Lytham shows its teeth
Only 13 players remain under par following three trips around the hallowed grounds of Royal Lytham & St Annes. The golfing talent on display has been of the highest calibre but navigating the 169 bunkers on a day filled with driving rain made pars incredibly valuable even for the world’s best over-50s players. 16 players are within five shots of the lead, and victory tomorrow will have to be earned by an incredible round of golf on an incredibly difficult course.
Broadhurst in front
Reigning Staysure Tour Number One Paul Broadhurst is in prime position to pick up his third Senior Major Championship, as he takes a one stroke lead into the final round. The Englishman looked comfortable all day as he carded a sublime three under par 67 to move from seventh to first.
The 53-year-old now has his second 54-hole lead at a Senior Major this year after also leading with one round to go at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in May. A win tomorrow would earn him his second Senior Open trophy, after first winning Europe’s only Senior Major in 2016 at Carnoustie.
Broadhurst also has a history with Royal Lytham & St Annes. He led The 1996 Open after one round, won the Lytham Trophy and won the Silver Medal for low-amateur in The 1988 Open, all of which were, you guessed it, played at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Welshmen Stephen Dodd and Phillip Price made their move on moving day at The Senior Open. Both players rose up the leaderboard into a share of fifth place and sitting only three strokes off the pace, will attempt to post a clubhouse target and send shockwaves throughout the final groups. Adam Scott showed the golfing world just how difficult it can be to close out a tournament at Royal Lytham & St Annes when he bogeyed his last four holes of The 2012 Open. Keep your eye these two players, who could fly under the radar and into the winner’s circle.
The biggest mover
Paul Eales carded the low-score on moving day, a four under par 66, which is also the joint-low round of the tournament, as he made five birdies and only one bogey to jump a whopping 40 places up the leaderboard and into a share of ninth alongside Darren Clarke and Tim Petrovic. Now only four shots back, Eales, one of the Staysure Tour’s most colourful characters could find himself winning his first Senior Major come Sunday night.