Senior Open Championship: Tom Watson to quit playing competitive golf after Senior Open and US Open championships

Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus: Two legends of the game
Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus: Two legends of the game

Five-time Open champion and three-time Senior Open winner Tom Watson has announced that Sunday's final round of the 2019 Senior Open will be his last competitive outing in links golf.

The 69-year-old, who has competed in The Open an astonishing 38 times and has made the cut in all 18 of his appearances at The Senior Open, will bid farewell to his beloved fans in the United Kingdom tomorrow at Royal Lytham & St Annes during the final round of Europe’s only Senior Major.

In a press conference after his third round, Watson confirmed this will be his last appearance at The Senior Open and that he has also played his final U.S. Senior Open, but will continue to play professional golf in a limited capacity.

“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.

“So, therefore, I'm basically declaring now that this is my last Open Championship, Senior Open Championship. And I'm also going to hang up the spikes in the US Senior Open.

“I've had a good career playing professional golf all these years. I've run across so many fine people who have helped me and supported me. First of all, my wife who is battling cancer now. It's going to give me some time to go out and compete with her.”

Broadhurst in the lead

In this year's event at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Paul Broadhurst will take a one stroke lead into the final round of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Royal Lytham & St Annes as he bids for his second victory in Europe’s only Senior Major Championship.

The Englishman carded a three under par 67 in tough conditions for a five under total and holds the 54-hole lead at a Senior Major for the second time this season after leading the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May.

Broadhurst, who shared the lead after Thursday's first round, has fond memories of Royal Lytham & St Annes having won the Lytham Trophy and the Silver Medal as an amateur at The Open on this course in 1988 and led The 1996 Open after 18 holes. He will tee off tomorrow in search of his third Senior Major Championship since turning 50 in 2015.

He is one stroke ahead of America’s Woody Austin who took sole ownership of second place after closing birdies on two of his last three holes.

Countrymen Ken Duke and Wes Short Jr share third place on three under par, while ten-time Senior Major Champion Bernhard Langer, Australia’s David McKenzie and the Welsh pair of Stephen Dodd and Phillip Price are fifth on two under.

Paul Eales carded the low round of the day, a four under par 66 to move up 40 places into a share of ninth with 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year Darren Clarke and American Tim Petrovic.

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