Tom Watson’s magical run at the British Open came to a disappointing close today, as the 59-year-old gave away his lead on the 72nd hole and succumbed to Stewart Chink Cink in a four-hole playoff at Turnberry. But that doesn’t scratch the surface of how sad it was to watch the collapse. Watson needed to make a relatively short par putt on the final hole in order become the oldest player to win a major championship, but he muffed it and finished the day at -2 with Cink, who notched four birdies on the back nine to close the gap, including a clutch putt on 18.
And then the playoff. Yikes. Watson suddenly became allergic to the fairways, bogeying #5, saving par on 6 thanks to a miracle blind chip into the sun, then double-bogeying 17 after two shots in the rough. Cink, meanwhile, birdied two of the first three holes, making 18 all but irrelevant.
So the Claret Jug goes to Cink, while sports fans and the AARP get a weathered, time-worn frowny face. But cheers to Watson just the same — it was nice to root for someone besides Tiger Woods for once.