Broadhurst tops Senior British Open, Watson bidding farewell
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) — Englishman Paul Broadhurst birdied two of the last three holes Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Senior British Open, which will be Tom Watson’s final appearance at the tournament.
Broadhurst had four birdies and a bogey in his third-round 3-under 67 in wet conditions at Royal Lytham & St. Annes for a 5-under 205 total.
“It was one of my better rounds in these conditions,” the 2016 champion said. “I’m not a great lover of the rain. I don’t mind playing in wind but when there’s a bit of a combination, the rain as well, I’ve not had too many great rounds in the rain, so that’s right up there today.”
American Woody Austin (68) is second, one shot off the lead.
Three-time champion Watson shot 2-over 72 and is tied for 55th at 6 over.
After the round, the 69-year-old American announced he wouldn’t be playing at the event again. In his 18 appearances, he has never missed the cut.
“I’ve thought quite long and hard about the decision I’ve made,” Watson said. “It has to do with really a pretty sensible assessment of how I play the game now. I don’t have the tools in the toolbox. I’ve mentioned that before, that sometimes you lose the tools in the toolbox. I just don’t have enough tools in the toolbox to really compete successfully.”
Watson is one of only three golfers to have won both the Senior British Open and the British Open, where he triumphed five times. Watson also said he won’t play the U.S. Senior Open again though he was not planning to retire completely.
“I’m basically declaring now that this is my last Open Championship, Senior Open Championship,” Watson said. “And I’m also going to hang up the spikes in the U.S. Senior Open.”
In June, Watson finished his 17th U.S. Senior Open at 2-under 278 by closing with a 68. It was the third time in that edition Watson had shot his age or better.
Overnight leader Wes Short Jr. finished with a 3-over 73 Saturday and is tied for third with another American Ken Duke (70), one stroke behind Austin.
Germany’s Bernhard Langer (70) was a further stroke back.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a round to forget with a triple-bogey on the par-5 seventh and a double-bogey to post 74. The Spaniard is tied for 27th at 3 over.