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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > Champions Tour > Senior British Open Championship > Round 4


Tom Watson wins Senior Open again

Tom Watson survived a double bogey at the last hole Sunday to win his third Senior British Open in five years.

A five-time Open winner on the regular tour and master of Scottish links courses, Watson went to the 72nd hole at Muirfield with a three-shot lead. But he fired his tee shot into a fairway bunker and then needed two to get out, bringing back memories of his final-round collapse in the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits three weeks ago.

"I thought 'What am I doing in here? Let's get the job done,"' Watson said.

After making it out of the sand, he missed the green with his fourth shot. With playing partners Mark O'Meara and Stewart Ginn back in contention, Watson got his fifth shot -- a putt from off the green -- to within three feet of the flag. He made the putt for a 73, a one-stroke victory and yet another title on Scottish links courses.

"It's important to get it done when you have to," Watson said. "It didn't look like it at 18, but I did put it in the wrong place (off the tee). It was a stupid shot.

"I didn't have too much opportunity with the first (bunker) shot. I didn't get it up far enough and it rolled back in the bunker. But it rolled back in far enough where I had a shot out sideways. I got it up around the green somewhere, two-putted and that was it."

Watson, who also won two Masters titles and one U.S. Open, captured his fifth senior major with an even par total of 284 to earn $324,531 for the victory. He finished one ahead of O'Meara (72) and Ginn (75).

Watson, who won this tournament at Turnberry in 2003 and Royal Aberdeen two years ago, made it five American victories in a row after triumphs by Peter Oakley in 2004 and Loren Roberts last year. Seven of Watson's eight triumphs in Britain have been on Scottish links courses and next year's Senior British Open is at another, Troon, where he won the Open in 1982.

Ginn, who won the Senior Players Championship on the Champions Tour five years ago for his only major, went into the final round leading by one at 3 under, but Watson wiped that out with a short birdie putt at the third. Both players birdied the fifth to move at least four ahead of the rest of the field and the final round appeared to be a race between the two as O'Meara failed to make up ground at 1 over.

While Watson's game stayed firm, Ginn's fell apart with five bogeys in a row from the turn as he slumped from 3 under to 1 over. Ginn was wayward off the tee and, while he failed to make any birdie chances during that stretch, Watson made a 20-foot putt at 11 and two more pars to put daylight between himself and the Australian.

The victory made up for Watson's collapse at the U.S. Senior Open, where he blew a three-shot lead after 10 holes of the final round, shooting a 43 on the closing nine to finish fourth behind Brad Bryant.

"It was really disappointing, the Senior Open," Watson said. "But, as is the custom in my career, when I've had some bad tournaments, I've come back very quickly.

"I guess that's part of my personality. I hate failure. And I just want to get back to even. Winning this tournament was getting back to even."

Defending champion Roberts finished in a tie for fourth after an even par 71 gave him a 4-over 288.

Playing his debut tournament as a senior, Nick Faldo finished with a share of 14th at Muirfield having tied for the lead after the opening round. A final-round 75 gave him an 8-over total of 292 although he almost finished birdie-birdie.

"I've struggled with my putter all week so I've got to go away and work on that before I venture out competitively again," said Faldo, a six-time major winner who now spends most of his time as a golf analyst for CBS. "Muirfield's a great walk and I can leave with a smile on my face."



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