Tom Watson continues strong form despite Open disappointment

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The 59-year-old is aiming to extend a remarkable trend of winning the Senior title in odd-numbered years, which began in 2003. Another victory here would not quite erase the bittersweet memories of Turnberry, but it would certainly palliate the pain.

Watson was asked earlier this week by Greg Norman's wife, Chris Evert, whether he would pick second place in the Open above a Senior triumph and, predictably, he said he would choose the Open every time.

But his answer does not diminish his affection for a tournament that has been good to him and that continues to draw a luminously starry field.

The crowds flocked to Berkshire today in anticipation of seeing the 18 major-winners represented here, and most interest was focused on the trio that included Watson, Norman and Sandy Lyle.

Watching these three was a wise choice since all of them surged rapidly up the leaderboard. Both Watson and Norman recorded 67s, the American showing all of the putting touch that so fleetingly, and crucially, deserted him at Turnberry.