Watson to make emotional Turnberry return

Three years after his unforgettable attempt to make golfing history ended in heartache, Tom Watson will make an emotional return to Turnberry, scene of so many of his greatest moments, when he joins the field for The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex from July 26-29. 

The American agonisingly missed out on becoming the oldest Major Champion in history when, at the age of 59, he led The 2009 Open Championship going into Turnberry’s  72nd hole. 

Needing a par for a record-equalling sixth Claret Jug, Watson could only manage bogey meaning he joined compatriot Stewart Cink in a play-off, which the younger American duly went on to win. 

However, Watson’s remarkable performance captured the imagination of the golfing world and wider sporting public, coming 32 years after he was part of another of the game’s most enthralling battles, the famous Duel in the Sun with Jack Nicklaus, also over Turnberry’s iconic Ailsa Course. 

Watson emerged victorious on that occasion, winning The 1977 Open Championship, and he also won the first of his three Senior Open Championships in dramatic fashion at Turnberry in 2003, beating Carl Mason in a play-off after Mason had led by two shots going into the final hole. 

The 62 year old, who won the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid last year, returns to Turnberry hoping to become the most successful player in the history of The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, having also won the replica Claret Jug at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2005 and Muirfield in 2007. This year’s Championship is the 26th staging of the event.

Watson also finished tied third in last year’s Championship at Walton Heath, won by his compatriot Russ Cochran, and his presence in the field is certain to be popular with the Scottish crowds, with whom he has such a strong affinity. 

Watson is closely affiliated with The Senior Open Championship’s new Presenting Patron, Rolex, and the leading Swiss watchmaking brand is proud to count such a legendary player among its valued family of Testimonees. Considered one of golf’s most enduring professionals, Watson’s etiquette, passion and excellence exemplify Rolex’s philosophy and