17 Jul 2009

Tom Watson up with leaders after opening day at Turnberry

6:15 am on 17 July 2009

The oldest man in the field, the American Tom Watson rolled back the years to be just a shot off the lead after the first round of the British golf Open as several veterans took advantage of ideal scoring conditions at Turnberry.

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain dropped a long birdie putt on the 18th to grab the outright lead with a 6 under par 64, while Watson and fellow American Ben Curtis are 1 stroke back.

Three-times champion and heavy favourite Tiger Woods struggled to a one-over-par 71, while defending champion Padraig Harrington is currently even par.

Asked to explain why so many old hands had flourished today, the 59-year-old five-times champion Watson says they have an advantage.... the pros don't play much on links courses, while they play regularly on them and get a feel for it, which is worth its weight in gold.

Of the New Zealanders David Samil is 1 under through 9 holes, Mark Brown and Josh Geary are 1 over and Michael Campbell is at the tail of the field after an 8 over par 78.