Veteran Tom Watson continued to defy his age and the tough courses on The Open rotation as he extended his own record for being the oldest man to make the cut in the tournament.
The five-time champion, who will be 63 in September, birdied the 18th at Royal Lytham to sneak into the weekend with a three-over total of 143.
Watson, an expert on links courses, has now made the cut six times in the last eight years and came within a whisker of winning a sixth Claret Jug at Turnberry in 2009 only to lose in a play-off. He almost messed things up as after producing a brilliant fairway bunker recovery – with his feet perched on the edge of the trap and his ball in wet sand – in hitting it close on 17, he three-putted from less than 15 feet. However, he salvaged his tournament with a three at the last.
“It went from the ridiculous to the sublime,” said the American, who finished joint 22nd at Royal St George’s last year.
“I hate to miss the cut. I still feel as if I can play certain courses and this course is a little long for me but I’m glad to still be there for the weekend.”
Watson admits his age – he had his hip replaced in 2008 – does cause him problems.
“I wouldn’t say it was the best of me today. I struggled all day,” he added.