Watson, 59, Leads Young Rivals Before Final Day

Hip replacement can't stop five-time American champ
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 4:17 PM CDT
Tom Watson used two late birdies to take a one-stroke lead over Australia?s Mathew Goggin and Ross Fisher of England at the British Open.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A teary Tom Watson moved one hole closer to history today at the British Open, using two late birdies to take a one-stroke lead over younger upstarts Matthew Goggin of Australia and Ross Fisher of England, Golf.com reports. “It’s a surprise,” Watson said. The 59-year-old American, hoping to win a record sixth Open championship in tomorrow’s final day of play, already is the oldest player ever to lead a major going into the last round, Bloomberg notes.

“Today was the most serene I’ve ever been on the golf course. I have a game plan, and my game plan is working,” said Watson, who’s playing with a surgically replaced left hip that’s less than a year old. In a blustery day at Turnberry, Watson shot a 1-over 71, outmatching Goggin’s 69 and Fisher’s 70. Fisher says he won’t compete tomorrow if his expectant wife delivers their first child first.