Four days after his heart-rending playoff defeat to Stewart Cink at Turnberry, Tom Watson shot a 3-under-par 67 yesterday to begin his pursuit of a fourth Senior British Open title at Sunningdale, England.
The 59-year-old Watson, who almost became the oldest major champion at the British Open last weekend, was three shots behind leader Fred Funk.
Funk birdied five of his last eight holes, including holing a bunker shot at No. 17, for a 6-under 64 - the lowest opening round in the history of the championship.
Funk had a two-shot lead over fellow Americans Jay Haas and Loren Roberts, Des Smyth of Ireland, and Christopher Williams of South Africa.
Watson was another stroke back and tied with Tom Kite, Jerry Bruner, Greg Norman, and Sam Torrance.
Watson said he hadn’t watched a replay of his missed putt on the final hole at Turnberry, an 8-footer that would have won him the claret jug.
“I don’t want to. That was the ugliest stroke in the world. I don’t want to relive that thing,’’ Watson said, before admitting he initially wanted to play it over again. “Then I said, ‘To heck with it. That’s history. That’s over and done with.’ ’’
PGA - Kevin Na birdied the final five holes and nine of his last 12 for a 9-under 63 and a two-stroke lead over Retief Goosen, Scott Verplank, and Joe Durant during the suspended first round of the Canadian Open in Oakville, Ontario.
After playing one hole in the morning, Na waited out a 7 1/2-hour rain delay in a tournament plagued by wet conditions for the second straight year.
Jimmy Walker was 6 under with four holes to go when play was suspended because of darkness. Mike Weir, trying to become the first Canadian to win the national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954, opened with a 70.
LPGA - Becky Brewerton shot a 5-under 67 and was tied for the first-round lead at the Evian Masters at Evian-Les-Bains, France, with Na Yeon Choi and In-Kyung Kim, while Michelle Wie rescued a disappointing start with two late birdies.
Wie, battling to earn a spot on the US Solheim Cup team, bogeyed Nos. 3, 6, and 13 before birdies on the last two holes for a 73.
European - Lee Slattery, ranked 504th in the world, birdied the first four holes, shot 6-under 67, and led by one over Ricardo Gonzalez in the first round of SAS Masters in Loddekopinge, Sweden.