2:24 p.m.The Golf.com Live Blog bosses hate paying overtime, so I'm
outta here. Thanks to Mike Corcoran and Jon Tattersall for watching with me, and extra special thanks to you for reading this blog and joining our party every
major. We'll see you in Minnesota for the PGA Championship.2:41 p.m.
Cabrera, Glover, Cink.... Tiger, please come back. We need you! 2:37 p.m. Friend of the Blog Jon Tattersall: Got to go now, just threw up on my keyboard!2:35 p.m.Your Golf.com British Open headline: "CINK BIG!"2:31 p.m.Watson taps in on 18 and he's done for the day. Mike Tirico says it best, "Thank you, Tom Watson. We'll never forget this."2:29 p.m.Now I understand Stewart Cink's green hat. Lex Luthor, kryptonite! Great shot into 18 by the nicest guy in the game.2:24 p.m.Stewart Cink is in the fairway on 18, Watson's drive is way off-line. But what really matters on this hole is Watson's walk to the green. No dry eyes in Scotland today.2:23 p.m.Friend of the Blog Michael Corcoran: This is the saddest day in golf history.2:22 p.m.That sound right there? The Channel Switch Heard Round the World.2:21 p.m.Watson makes double bogey; Cink makes birdie. Four-shot lead. As the great Samuel L. Jackson once said, "This party is over!"2:20 p.m.Watson has a short bogey putt left, Cink has a short birdie putt left.2:17 p.m.How can Watson still win? Reader Help No TV! has a plan: We need John Daly to come out and kick the hell out of Cink, this is Tom Watson for the love of Titleist!!!!!2:15 p.m. Cink is on in 2; Watson is on in 4. Not much else to say.2:13 p.m. Watson finally out with his third shot, about 100 yards from the green. As Cink gets ready for his second shot, Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran says: Only Van de Velde could blow it from here.2:12 p.m. Watson can't get it back to the fairway. It's slipping away on this hole.2:11 p.m. It was lost and now is found. "Titleist 3, Mr Watson?" You can't buy an ad like that.2:07 p.m.On 17, Cink in first cut of rough, Watson is way way left. They might not find this.John Tattersall notices that Stewart Cink is getting "the Scottish cheer" that hometown Scottish fans gave Englishman Westwood: The fans are giving polite applause for Cink's shot even though it was really good. No surprises for knowing who the fans are pulling for!2:05 p.m.Cink makes his par putt. Off to 17, Cink still leads by one. I want Watson to win too, but I can't root against Stewart Cink, one of the nicest and most decent professional athletes out there.2:03 p.m.Watson makes it! Staying alive, staying alive! Ah ah ah ah, staying alive.2:02 p.m.Stewart Cink leaves his birdie putt short. Since it's 1977 today, let's say Watson has a "staying alive" putt. Sorry about that.2:00 p.m.Great shot by Watson. He can save par with an 8-10 foot putt. Justin Leonard is out there watching, hope more players are. Doubt it though.1:59 p.m.Tom Watson's lie would be a good place to dispose of a body.1:57 p.m.Reader Help, No TV! writes: Please inform me what is going on, no tv!!!!!Dear Help, This is golf. If we're not posting, then just imagine two guys who look like insurance agents walking around with clubs in their hands.1:55 p.m.Cink's record on the par-3 sixth: three pars, one birdie. His tee shot finds the green. Watson hits his right into the junk. Big hill down there. 1:52 p.m.Big time up-and-down for Stewart Cink. He's leading by one.1:49 p.m.Cink gets his to makeable range. Watson just gets it on the green and has a long putt, but no guarantee Cink is making his.1:47 p.m.Both second shots land in greenside bunkers. Both guys feeling pressure: Cink has never been here, Watson has been away so long. The wily Watson goes over to check out Cink's lie.1:46 p.m.Where is everybody? Is this the British Open or the Turnberry member-guest?1:45 p.m.Jon Tattersall says that pumpkin in the parking lot is not Watson's ride: It's not midnight just yet...Can Tom pick himself up and figure he still has it all to play for or will Cink be so happy to be there he
plays out of his skin. I'm going with Tom because he's striping it, got to get to the greens first.1:40 p.m.Watson and Cink both hit drives to the center of fairway on No. 5.1:35 p.m.That jolly British Open announcer who gives the player intros? His name is Ivor Robson and he's been doing this a long time. Author Mike Corcoran said he asked Ivor whether he was nervous announcing his first Open in 1975. "Only me and my laundry know the truth about that," Robson answered.1:33 p.m.So if Westwood had just two-putted the 18th green, he'd be in this playoff.1:30 p.m.Playoff format: Nos. 5, 6, 17,18.Advantage? The guy who putts better.1:24 p.m.Terrible putt by Watson. Bogey on 18. Playoff with Stewart Cink. A pumpkin is spotted in the Turnberry car park.1:22 p.m.Watson's got about a 6-footer left after his chip. Gulp!1:20 p.m.
Watson rolled past
the green and has his work cut out for him for par. At 2-under, Cink shouldn't start twittering yet.
Jon Tattersall says Watson needed to see 1977 in his head on that last shot: Can Tom get the images of his finish in 1977? Needs to land the modern ball shorter though because it doesn't spin as much...but I am sure he knows that 1:16 p.m.Westwood finishes at 1-under, call him, Three-Jack Nicklaus. The pin on 18 is accessible, Watson's in the fairway. It would take a monumental collapse (think Monty, Phil) for Watson to not win. 1:14 p.m.Tom Watson stripes tee shot on 18. Lee Westwood is putting from the same spot Nicklaus did in 1977. He sends it well past the whole.Mike Corcoran says, I know Jack Nicklaus, I've talked with Jack Nicklaus, Westwood, you're not Jack Nicklaus.1:10 p.m.1 Watson -3, thru 17 T2 Cink -2, F T2 Westwood -2, thru 17Great approach by Westwood on 18, but would take an amazing putt for birdie. Jon Tattersall asks: How many people were screaming at TW's ball (you know the TW we all want to win) to stop on #17! 1:09 p.m.Watson makes birdie on 17. He's alone in the lead at 3-under with one hole to play.Reader Bruce S. in New Jersey writes: Hey, I'm 59 too. Did you see me at the Super Bowl? 1:05 p.m.Watson putts to two feet from the greenside rough on 17 in two. If he makes birdie, this will be his tournament to lose. Westwood is in fairway bunker on 18. 1:03 p.m.T1 Cink -2, thru F T1 Watson -2, thru 16 T1 Westwood -2, thru 17 T2 Wood -1, FPat, I'd like to buy an 'S'? 1:01 p.m.Reader Brian says: Big time
gag job by Jim Furyk, which is becoming fairly common. I like Jim alot,
but enough already about what a steely, implacable competitor he is.OK, no more John Wayne of golf stuff from me. I still like David Feherty's comment that Furyk is a dead ringer for the Muppets' Sam the Eagle.1:00 p.m.Lee Westwood hits his putt about as good as he can, just misses eagle, taps in for birdie, three-way tie with Watson and Cink at 2-under.12:59 p.m.Lex Luthor ties Tom Watson at 2-under with birdie on 18. Oh wait, that was Stewart Cink.12:58 p.m.Lee Westwood makes his shot of the tournament, hitting his approach from the long grass to about 20 feet and he'll have an eagle putt. He made a Sergio-at-Medinah run to watch it land, though for the husky, 36-year-old Westwood, it was more like a waddle.12:53 p.m.Tom Watson (2-under) still leads after saving par on 16, but he didn't need to make it that hard. Mental error? It's how he used to play. Aggressive on long putts because he knows he can make the short ones.Jon Tattersall: It's coming down to #17 as it did in 1977 and 1994.12:51 p.m.Reader Mike asks: What happens if they're tied after 18?Four hole playoff, like we saw with Sergio and Harrington at Carnoustie. If they're still tied after the four holes, then they play 18 sudden-death until somebody wins. Lots of time, doesn't get dark here until about 10 p.m. 12:49 p.m.Sweet approach by Watson on 16. A member's bounce? More like a Destiny bounce. 12:48 p.m.Goggin's approach on 16 was as bad as his body language. You don't want to let go of the club when you're one- back on Sunday at the British Open 12:46 p.m.T1 Watson -2, thru 15 T2 Wood -1, F T2 Westwood -1, thru 16 T2 Cink -1, thru 17 T2 Goggin -1, thru 15Not much else to say... 12:44 p.m.
Westwood makes birdie on 16, drops to 1-under. Your leader with three holes to play? Tom Watson, alone at 2-under. 12:40 p.m.
Westwood leaves his chip short on 16, really shot. Cink takes an uneven stab at
his birdie putt on 17. Still 1-under. 12:35 p.m.
Watson misses birdie attempt on No. 15.
Here's Golf Magazine's Jon Tattersall on why the leaders are having so much difficulty on the greens: Putting in the wind is so difficult because your head is feeling the wind move your body around but you are unsure as to how much the ball will be moved by the ball. Factoring wind into your read of the green...breaks from the left, wind from the right, choose your line and be committed!12:32 p.m.Tom Watson's next book: How I Won the British Open (And So Can You!) 12:30 p.m.For a professional golfer, wind is the ultimate adversary, not length or rough. 12:28 p.m.Westwood not even close with par attempt on 15. Back to three-way tie at 2-under with Watson and Goggin, who is the official Turnberry Man Who Came to Dinner. He just won't leave. 12:26 p.m.
T1 Westwood -2, thru 15
T1 Goggin -2, thru 14
T1 Watson -2, thru 14
T4 Cink -1, thru 16
T4 Wood -1, F 12:22 p.m.Jon Tattersall says Westwood's par on 14 was huge: The four he made on 14 thanks to a phenomenal lag putt from off the green could be one of the shots we look at later as part of the winner's "keys to victory"Goosen makes double on 15. Goggin makes bogey on 14. The Live Blog jinx continues12:21 p.m.Tom Watson pulls par putt on 14, bogey drops him to 2-under. Watson's Boswell Mike Corcoran says he's never seen Watson fidget over a putt like that. 12:19 p.m.Gem from Curtis Strange: My mother always said, "Don't hit bunker shots into the wind."12:16 p.m.Live Blog jinx! Goggin hits a poor approach into 14. Might be worth keeping an eye on Retief Goosen, even through 14. Here's a transcript of Goose's first-tee conversation with playing partner Jim Furyk (5-over).Goosen: HeyFuryk: How's it going?Goosen; OKFuryk: Hmm.12:13 p.m.
Check out the logos on Westwood. He's the Dale Earnhardt Jr. of golf. Sorry, Stevie.
T1 WESTWOOD -3, thru 13
T1 GOGGIN -3, thru 13
T1 WATSON -3, thru 13
4 CINK -2, thru 15
5 WOOD -1, F
T1 WESTWOOD -3, thru 12
T1 GOGGIN -3, thru 11
T1 WATSON -3, thru 11
T4 WOOD -2, thru 17
T4 CINK -2, thru 13Friend of the Blog Jon Tattersall is worried about Watson's tee shots: He's been hooking the ball all day, holding it into the left to right wind. Hopefully he can adjust quickly when the wind comes from the
right11:53 a.m.I agree
with Reader Joe; Let's see the ups and downs of the other players! I
tune in for John Daly also, if he's down show it! I don't want to watch
a guy play with his balls in the weeds for 15 minutes! 11:51 a.m. Chris Wood is in the clubhouse at 1-under. Now he's going to lay down some tracks for Radiohead's next album.11:49 a.m.Finally, we have some fans in the grandstands on 18. All they needed was the most improbable sports story of the decade. BTW, let's get some talk started: If a 59-year-old man can win a major tournament, does that mean golf is not a sport?My take, golf is the greatest game, but it depends what you mean by "sport." 11:44 a.m.Chris Wood walking up 18 at 2-under. He has the opposite of a beer gut, it looks like his stomach goes in.11:43 a.m.Wild pants? (Yawn.) Disaster-zone personal life? (Zzzzzzz.) Smoking on the driving range? (Don't care.) Eagle on 17? OK, ABC will show John Daly. He's finished 4-over. Great week for JD.11:42 a.m.Stewart Cink, one of the only Tour pros who takes calls from the Live Blog, makes birdie on No. 12 an is now 2-under. Cink's green hat might be an homage to Watson's shirt in 1977, which is the aesthetic equivalent of covering Frampton Comes Alive.11:40 a.m.Tom Watson makes a great long putt for birdie on No. 11, three-way tie for the lead at 3-under, and Westwood's tee shot is in trouble on 12.11:39 a.m.For resort guests, No. 18 at Turnberry is a straight hole--the dogleg is for the pros only. 11:35 a.m.Chris Woods, I mean Wood, makes birdie on 17, now 1-under. Watson's tee shot on the par-3 11th lands on the front edge. 11:34 a.m.Matthew Goggin makes his birdie on 10 and has tied Westwood for the lead at 3-under.11:32 a.m.Watson just misses birdie on No. 10, still 2-under. Westwood misses a try at 11, 3-under.11:28 a.m.Watson makes a great approach on 10, leaves it short and runs it out to the hole, knowing he can't hold the green downwind.11:26 a.m.Lee Westwood makes bogey on 10 and drops to 3-under. He played with Woods at Torrey Pines in 2008 and has the lead against Watson today; for a nice guy, he's had a lot of people rooting against him.11:25 a.m.Matthew Goggin is hanging tough at 2-under. Maybe Tiger Woods can get him a deal on disposable razors.11:22 a.m.Friend of the Blog Mike Corcoran is watching Chris Wood (1-under) closely: Are we sure that's not Prince Harry?11:18 a.m.Will Watson collapse after just missing his par putt on No. 9? Not likely. He majored in psychology at Stanford. And unlike Woods he graduated.11:17 a.m.Watson (3-under) putting for par on No. 9 after a couple middling shots.11:16 a.m.Tiger Woods appears in an ad for Gillette. ABC ratings spike. 11:15 a.m.
Stewart Cink now under par with a birdie on 11. Luke
Donald is leader in the clubhouse at even par. 11:11 a.m.What's Tom Watson been up to since his glory days? Golf author Mike Corcoran says Watson has been pretty much just playing golf and designing courses. That's the difference between him and guys like Norman and Nicklaus. Watson has never seen himself as a businessman, just a golfer.11:08 a.m.How windy can Turnberry get? That rail on the ninth tee box is so guys don't get blown off the cliff.11:05 a.m.Watson's got good lie on right edge of ninth fairway. Luke Donald comes into 18 and will have a putt for 1-under and the clubhouse lead. No way that'll hold up in this nice weather.11:04 a.m.Tom Watson saves par on No. 8. Will Lee Westwood be able to hold up under pressure on the back nine? His play on 18 yesterday was not a good omen, according to The Scotsman newspaperWithin sight of the 18th green, it was a policy that looked certain to
see him end the day with one of the handful of under-par rounds, and
within a shot of overnight leader Tom Watson's mark of four-under. But
then Westwood got greedy. He eschewed caddy Billy Foster's sage advice
to hit right to compensate for the wind, ignored his own plan to go for
the meat of the green, and went for the pin. Had he gone for the heart
of the green, his shot would have been pin-high. Instead, it flumped
into the bank of impenetrable grass just short of the green and
plugged. His first attempt to dislodge the ball barely moved it, and
although his second was a sublimely deft lob that put him close enough
to finish with a single putt, he had still dropped back to two-under, a
shot behind Matthew Goggins and compatriot Ross Fisher, and two behind
Watson. .11:00 a.m.Golf.com Live Blog staffer Alan Bastable emails:Three players whose last names begin with "W" are battling for the
Sunday lead at the Open Championship, and none of them is named Tiger
Woods. Four days ago what could have odds could you have gotten from
Ladbrokes on that proposition?Westwood (4-under) finds the fairway on 9, no small thing. Manassero tells ABC that his future plans include algebra, driving lessons, the prom.10:55 a.m.16-year-old Italian amateur Matteo Manassero defies age as well as Watson to finish at 2-over.Reader JMiller63@nbc.com emails: Hey, isn't that the kid who cleans my pool?10:52 a.m.Watson makes birdie on 7, now 3-under. 10:50 a.m.Watson doesn't make the eagle putt that Westwood did on No. 7, and he's left himself a little work. Chris Wood makes bogey on 13 and 14 and drops to even par.10:46 a.m.Ernie Els and Justin Leonard are in the clubhouse, both 1-over. Question: How can Ernie look so old at 39 and Watson look so young at 59?10:40 a.m.Lee Westwood has a make-able eagle putt on No. 7. And he makes it! 4-under. Two-shot lead. Golf Magazine's Brady Riggs thinks Westwood has the intangibles to win here:I really like him. He's gotten a lot smarter and it feels like he
deserves to win a major. Westwood was down and out and he resurrected
his career. Golf is a difficult game in which to do that and it says a
lot about his character.10:37 a.m. Over/under on words the terse twosome of Jim Furyk
(1-over) and Retief Goosen (1-under) have shared during today's round. I'm
guessing 10.5. 10:35 a.m.Reader TLuv says: I think
Fisher's slow play is an overlooked factor in the story of this
tournament. Watson was able to play without delay yesterday (except
Marino's troubles on 15). TV will never mention it, though; they never
do. I know these guys are playing for a living, but they ought to get
more heat for slow play (troubles like on 5 are different from
genuinely slow play).Agreed it's not optimal for Watson, but he's the last guy in the world who will let stuff like that bother him. Watson just misses a birdie putt on 7, still 2-under.10:32 a.m. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall grew up in western England playing links golf. He sympathizes with Ross Fisher's troubles on the fifth. You should too!Oh my! For those of you who have never played links golf, watching Ross Fisher struggle gives you an idea of why it is so difficult!10:29 a.m.Lee Westwood makes birdie on No. 7 and is tied with Watson and Woods for the lead.Golf.com editor Charlie Hanger says: Fisher is hoping he gets called to the hospital for that baby right about now. So is Watson if Fisher keeps him waiting on the tee box.10:25 a.m.Watson makes a par on No. 5, something Fisher and Westwood couldn't pull off. Watson's birdie attempt really twisted in the wind. Golf Magazine's short-game guru Dave Pelz has been commentating on Twitter (@dave_pelz). He says wind is an unappreciated factor on the greens:Saw 10 putts
missed today because of wind. I don't think avg golfer appreciates how
much wind affects rolling ball w/friction almost = zero.10:19 a.m.Fisher recovers with a decent tee shot on the long par-3 seventh, which might be the coolest hole on the course. The ninth? Not according to The Scotsman's golf scribe John Huggan:At first glance you may think that Turnberry's
par-4 ninth hole has it all. There's the lighthouse, of course. There's
the tee out there on the rocks. There's the cairn on the fairway, atop
the hill. No wonder "Bruce's Castle" is, it must be acknowledged, one
of golf's top-three photo opportunities.
has to be played over the 449 yards between tee and cup. And there the
ninth descends into near farce. The fairway, shaped not unlike the roof
of a house, is almost unhittable, to the point that even Jack Nicklaus,
back in 1994, called its very existence "only a rumour". Nothing has
changed, either. During the opening round, in near-perfect conditions,
fewer than one in three of the world's best golfers was capable of
finding the short grass off the tee.
No wonder BBC commentator
Peter Alliss had a wee pop last week, calling Turnberry's "finest",
"one of the worst holes in the world." 10:18 a.m. Lee Westwood makes bogey on 5, he's 1-under. Chris Woods leaves his birdie putt short and stays 2-under. He's tied the lead with Watson. Fisher makes 8 on the par-4 fifth and is even. Westwood and Goggin one back of the lead along with CInk and Goosen.10:15 a.m. Tom Watson's natural rhythm is faster than anyone else, says Michael Corcoran. Just look at him pacing on the fifth tee waiting for the Ross Fisher nightmare to end.10:13 a.m. Chris Wood, who started the day 6 back, is tied with Watson and is on the green with a birdie chance on 12.Reader Eldrick in Orlando emails: Chris Wood? Really?10:11 a.m.Our future ex-leader Ross Fisher taking an unplayable lie on the fifth. Triple? Quintiple? 10:07 a.m.Watson makes par and stays at 2-under while Ross Fisher is making a mess of the fifth hole. Watson, Matthew Goggin and Chris Wood will all be leaders at 2-under when Ross finally finishes this thing. 10:04 a.m. Watson (2-under) makes a nice tee shot on 4 and will have a birdie chance. Friend of the Blog Michael Corcoran wrote a book about the Watson-Nicklaus Duel in the Sun. He says
comparisons between Greg Norman at Birkdale last year and Tom Watson this year
are night and day.Norman was a career choke artist. This is a guy who's impervious to all that stuff. There's never been a player with the ability to focus like Tom Watson. 9:58 a.m.Jack Nicklaus calls the ABC broadcast to say he's "rooting like the devil" for Watson. People are asking, "Can Tom do it?" He's already doing it.Ross Fisher bogeys No. 4--now 4-under. If you took a time-lapse photograph of Ross lining up that putt, you might have caught Haley's comet.9:55 a.m. Watson makes a nice chip on three
and but can't save par--now 2-under. Ross Fisher into the dunes on the par-3 fourth. btw, Am I the only one who thinks
that Ailsa Craig looks sinister? Does Dr. Evil live there? Has Yeats' rough
beast's hour come at last? 9:49 a.m.Justin Leonard (even) makes his fifth birdie of the day on 15 and answers the question, "What does a guy need to do to get on TV if he's not in the final group today?" Leonard's playing partner Ernie Els is also at even par.9:46 a.m.Reader Tom says: I've been
watching 45 minutes and have not seen any golf. I had to get on the
computer to see what John Daly is doing. Show some golf, instead of a
talk show.I want more Daly too. But we have news from the 10th hole, and it is not good: Daly is now 5-over after two doubles today.9:42 a.m.Tom Watson makes par on 2 after a his bogey start. Still 3-under. The good weather wasn't great news for Watson since it means guys are going to be able to post a number today, but now he better hope it stays good.Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall emails: Weather looks perfect over there at the moment but, hopefully it can stay that way. I don't want someone finishing an hour early and win because the weather gets nasty.9:35 a.m. Thanks, Cam. Have fun out there today. As we switch back to EDT (eastern daylight time), Ross Fisher now leads the tournament by 2 with a birdie-birdie start.Reader Eldrick in Orlando emails: Who the hell is Ross Fisher?English guy, his wife's pregnant, plays slow. Came in fifth at U.S. Open this year.______________________________________________2:25 Chris Wood drains birdie putt at the 8th to go to 1-under for the tournament, just three off the lead.Signing out now, handing things over to blogger-emeritus Mike Walker. Cheerio, and over to you, Mike. 2:23 Ross Fisher joins the lead with a birdie at the first that uses every bit of the hole, around and in. We have two men at the top at 4-under, England's Rossie and Watson, for whom the nickname no doubt conjures memories of the late Bob Rosburg.Oh, dear. Watson yanks approach shot into the pot bunker left of the first green. 2:22 Watson finds the fairway with opening tee shot! 2:20 With the leaders about to tee off, we've got no change among the top seven on the board. The big movers so far are Els at 3-under through 13, even for the tournament (tied for 8th place); Manassero at 3-under for the day, also even; and Chris Wood, who's just eagled the par-5 7th hole to join them at even for the tournament (2-under for the day). Jaidee is also at even for the tournament, even for the day through two holes.2:15 Els chips in at 13! After making bogey at the 12th, he's back to even par for the tournament, 3-under for the day. So far those in front of him aren't doing much good or bad. Cink, Furyk and Goosen all made par at the first. And here comes Tom Watson to the tee! Go, Toom! Show 'em how, Toom! Now if he can just turn the adulation into pars and birdies.2:02 There seems to be some confusion out there in blog land. Just to clear it up, we don't have the rights to broadcast the tournament here, so the "talk show" continues.Andres Romero has just made his second eagle of the day at the par-5 17th. He's 3-under today, 2-over for the tournament, but will run out of holes.Blogger error! JPC sez: "According to the PGA.com leaderboard, there is an American flag next to Bryce Molder's name (T-8, low medalist yesterday). Did you overlook him in your list of Americans on the leaderboard?"I did. Molder is a cool guy. At the Nationwide tour stop in Boise last fall we talked about the fine line between making it and not on Tour. (With David Duval, Phil Mickelson and Gary Hallberg, Molder is one of only four four-time All-Americans.) It's nice to see him finally succeeding at the highest level. With a T2 at the St. Jude Classic and a 4th at the AT&T National, he's well on his way to keeping his card.1:54 p.m. Sergio's just in with a 1-over 71, which is a moot point after his third-round 76. Who wins a major first, Sergio or one of the ultra-young quartet of Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa and Matteo Manassero? I have to say I was impressed with the 17-year-old "Bashful Prince" Ishikawa this week even though he missed the cut. He doesn't hit it very far, but that first-round 68 while playing with Tiger was impressive. 1:45 p.m. Mac says yes, Ernie's too far back, since Watson's going to shoot 68 and win. That would be a great story, but a word of caution, Mr. O'Grady: Old Tom might have to go that low or even lower, as there seem to be some birdies out there with the slightly more accessible pins today (like on the very first hole). Els birdies 10 to get to even overall, just four back, and gets up and down for par on 11. And now the BBC is showing a couple of watercraft zooming about on Turnberry Bay--are they trying to remind us of Ernie's tubing accident?By the way, Watson has referred to himself this week as both an "old fart" and an "old geezer." Has he forgotten any other ageist slurs? How about "bran-muncher?" 1:36 p.m. We have two Italians on the first page of the leaderboard at 1-over, and neither is 1995 Open runner-up Costantino Rocca. You may have already heard about Matteo Manassero, the 16-year-old amateur from Verona whose putting stroke Tom Watson raved about after they played the first 36 holes together. Manassero shot a sporty 2-under 33 on the front nine. The other is Francesco Molinari, 26, of Turin. He's the younger of the golfing Molinari brothers by nearly two years--older brother Edoardo became the first Italian winner of the U.S. Amateur a few years back. Among the first 16 players on the leaderboard at this moment, four are Americans: Watson, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink (both at 1-under), and Boo Weekley at 1-over. 1:24 p.m. Tom Watson said after his first-round 65 he'd take his chances in a gale. He might get some version of his wish. It rained so hard last night it woke some people up in our rental house, and we've already had some short bursts of moisture today. The forecast calls for winds "west to southwest 10 to 15 mph increasing 12 to 18 mph with gusts 20 to 25 mph, 20% chance of gusts to 28 mph along the lighthouse shore by 1600." Watson and Mathew Goggin should be quite near the lighthouse by then. 1:15 p.m. This just in on Lawrie's 2 at the par-5 seventh: He holed a 4-iron from 213 yards. It's the first albatross in the Open since Gary Evans made one in 2004, and only the sixth since 1982. The list: Evans at Troon; Jeff Maggert and Greg Owen at Lytham (2001); Manny Zerman at St. Andrews (2000); and Bill Rogers at Royal Birkdale (1983).(Rogers was also a terrific marathon runner.) Anybody else remember the name Manny Zerman? The guy was a world class amateur, played for Arizona in Mickelson's era, but never made it as a pro. Another of golf's mysteries.1:10 p.m. Hello and greetings from the land of the white leather shoes, where already today Ernie Els is making a move at 2-under through seven holes, 1-over for the tournament; Kevin Sutherland made a rare 2 on the par-4 fifth hole; and Sco
t Paul Lawrie, who hasn't been heard from since he won the 1999 Open, made a double-eagle 2 on the seventh.Els just made a par 4 on the eighth, so he's five shots behind Tom Watson's lead with 10 holes left to play and old Tom yet to tee off. Too far back?