Watson takes lead

TURNBERRY, Scotland - Tom Watson produced a master class in links golf at Turnberry Golf Course yesterday, seven weeks short of his 60th birthday, to lead the British Open with a five-under 65 that evoked memories of his glory days.

TURNBERRY, Scotland - Tom Watson produced a master class in links golf at Turnberry Golf Course yesterday, seven weeks short of his 60th birthday, to lead the British Open with a five-under 65 that evoked memories of his glory days.

The American, who dominated world golf in the 1970s and 1980s, produced a near flawless display on the same par-70 Ailsa course he beat Jack Nicklaus on in the fabled Duel in the Sun 32 years ago.

Watson was not alone among the old guard to shake off the cobwebs as former Open winners Mark Calcavecchia and Mark O'Meara returned to the leaderboard in a major at the ages of 49 and 52. They outscored Tiger Woods who struggled with a one-over 71.

Out on the course among the afternoon starters, England's Paul Casey was the biggest threat to Watson keeping the lead at the end of the first day as he eagled the seventh to get to four under. Watson had five birdies and no bogeys on his card by the time he sunk a five-footer for par at the last hole to earn one of the earliest standing ovations ever at the Open.

"I played very well, kept the ball in play but the golf course was defenceless," he said, alluding to the perfect, windless conditions.

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