Fred Couples shot a 67 in the final round to win the Senior British Open by two shots.
Mark Runnacles / Getty Images
Monday, July 30, 2012

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) - Fred Couples won the Senior British Open by two strokes over Gary Hallberg on Sunday after holing a 25-foot putt to finish with consecutive birdies.

The 1992 Masters champion shot a 3-under 67 in the final round to finish at 9-under 271 on the Ailsa course and win his first tournament in Britain. Hallberg shot a 66, equaling the best round of the day with American Mark Calcavecchia and Carl Mason.

English pair Barry Lane (69) and Mason and American Dick Mast (67) had a share of third at 4 under. Overnight leader Bernhard Langer dropped five shots in five holes on the way home to shoot a 75 and slip into a tie for sixth.

Related Photos: Couples rallies to win Senior Open

 

``I've never won an Open Championship, so this is the next best thing. And I believe I now get into the (British) Open at Muirfield next year, which is great,'' Couples said. ``It was a fun day out there. Bernhard and I were neck and neck for a long time. Then I saw Gary had birdied the 17th to draw level, so I knew I needed to birdie 17. I hit a couple of great shots down 17 and two-putted for birdie, then the hole got in the way for my birdie putt at 18.

``It's my biggest senior tour win by far on a truly great golf course. I can now say I won the Senior British Open at Turnberry in really challenging weather.''

Couples was locked in a struggle with Langer until the German double bogeyed No. 12 and the American birdied for a three-shot swing. Langer then bogeyed three holes in a row from No. 14 to slip out of contention.

Hallberg posted the best round of the tournament with a 63 on Friday before following that up with a 73 on Saturday. On Sunday, he made six birdies and didn't drop a shot. Calcavecchia had four birdies and no bogeys, while Mason had three birdies, an eagle and just one bogey.

Tom Watson closed with a 69, his third sub-par round of the tournament to share 10th place at 1-under 279.

Related Video: Watson wins 1977 Open at Turnberry's 'Duel in the Sun'
 

``I played with Carl Mason and he played a wonderful round of golf. I played well and I love being back at Turnberry,'' Watson said. ``It has had a lot of significance for me in my career.''

Watson beat Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 British Open at Turnberry in what is known as the ``Duel in the Sun.'' He also beat Mason in a 2010 playoff at Turnberry to win the first of his three Senior British Open titles.

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