Tom Watson won his third Senior Open Championship title with a one-shot victory at Muirfield yesterday but he almost threw it away on the 72nd hole. The 57-year-old, winner of eight majors before graduating to the senior circuit, had a three-shot lead heading down the last but pulled his drive right up against the face of a pot bunker.
He took two to blast out and then two-putted from off the green for a double-bogey six to finish with a level-par total of 284.
His playing partners Stewart Ginn and Mark O'Meara could not make a birdie to force a play-off so Watson claimed his fourth Senior major - three of which have been Opens in Scotland.
"I had to make it interesting," Watson said. "I was trying to hit a drive to the right and I asked my caddie, 'How much to carry the right bunker?' and I had plenty to cover that - but I hit it left into the death trap.
"You can't hit it in the bunkers here at Muirfield. My mindset was, 'Let's get it out of the bunker and get it on to the green and get it in somehow' - and that is what I did."
Watson admitted the short par-four 11th had been the significant hole coming home. "Making birdie there and Stewart making bogey turned the tide and gave me a little cushion," he added. …