Watson’s slide gives title to Bryant
Brad Bryant took advantage of another U.S. Senior Open flameout by Tom Watson, shooting a four-under-par 68 on Sunday at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., to complete the second-biggest comeback in the 28-year history of the tournament.
Bryant’s birdie on the 16th hole gave him the lead as Watson frittered away six shots in a five-hole stretch on the back nine -- the latest in a series of final-round disappointments for Watson in the high-profile senior major. It was the first victory in a senior major for Bryant, who started the day at two-under and finished with a six-under 282 total that was three better than second-place Ben Crenshaw.
Bryant’s comeback on the final day of the senior open was second only to Allen Doyle’s victory from nine shots back in the 2005 tournament.
Watson, who had finished second in three of the previous five senior opens, shot one-under on the front nine and began the back nine with a birdie to go to nine-under for the tournament.
He ended up in fourth place, five shots behind.
“You can write the story pretty easy,” said Watson, who shot a six-over 78, including a 43 on the back nine. “When I make double bogey at 11, a par-five which is reachable in two today, that was a real wake-up call right there that the golf course wasn’t going to give in very easily.”
Said Bryant: “To come out here and beat a couple of the best players in the world on a day like today is near-miraculous, actually.”
Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie shot a final-round 65 to finish with an 11-under total of 269 and win the European Open at Straffan, Ireland. It ended Montgomerie’s streak of 19 months without a title.