Watson is back among his peers

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SUNNINGDALE, England --- Tom Watson is ready to start picking on guys his own age again.

After coming within an 8-foot putt of becoming golf's oldest major champion at the British Open last weekend, Watson is displaying reserves of stamina unexpected from a 59-year-old as he tries for a fourth Senior British Open title.

Watson said he only had one hour of sleep after he bogeyed the 72nd hole and then lost a playoff to Stewart Cink at Turnberry on Sunday, but was right back on the course to play full rounds at Sunningdale on Monday and Tuesday. He followed that with an extensive session on the practice range before the tournament opens Thursday.

"My mom and dad were flexible and in good shape well into their 70s," Watson said, when asked where he found his energy. "I come from good genes there."

Watson would be forgiven for spending his days lamenting that final putt at the 18th hole at Turnberry, but says he is more interested in looking to the future.

"This, too, shall pass," he said. "It's onward to the next week and forget what you did in the past, except where it might help you play better golf."

Watson will be trying to keep alive his streak of winning the Senior British Open every other year, after taking the title in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

"Keeping the sequence would be nice," he said.

Watson may need his best golf to hold off this year's senior Open field, considered one of the strongest in the history of the event. It's headed by Bernhard Langer, easily the most dominant player on the Champions Tour this year with four wins and earnings of almost $1.5 million, twice as much as second-place Andy Bean.

Three other top Europeans from the same era -- Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo -- are also in the field along with all the leading Americans.

Langer has been a hugely successful senior since turning 50 late in 2007.

"Things have been going quite well," said the German, who won the 1985 European Open at Sunningdale.

At 6,616 yards, Sunningdale is fairly short by Champions Tour standards


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