HE nearly re-wrote history, but in the end settled for writing his own head- lines. It would have been a hell of a story, wouldntit,TomWatsonsaidtoreport- ers after first of all breaking the silence by commenting: This aint a funeral, you know. Asked by one to suggest a headline for his heroic effort to rewrite the record books the 59-year-old suggested: The Old Fogey Almost Did It. And so he did. Watson, in and out of the lead all week, moved back in front on his own when he birdied the penul- timate hole. Stewart Cink had already made his closing 14-foot birdie putt to get to two under par, then Lee Westwood three- putted from around 80 feet for a bogey that dropped him to one under with Bristol 21-year-old Chris Wood, another to bogey the hole. All eyes turned to Watson, only to see him make perhaps the most disappoint- ing bogey of his life and the lives of all those willing him on. I just didnt do it and the play-off was one bad shot after another, but the crowds were just wonderful to me all week, he said. It was almost. Almost. The dream almost came true. But Watson was gutted for not giving this years Open Championship at Turnberry the incredible climax it deserved. It tears at your gut, as it always has torn at my gut its not easy to take, said Watson of the last-hole bogey and play-off collapse which stopped him becoming the oldest major champion in history. All the veteran had to do to equal the six Claret Jug record set by Harry Var- don way back in 1914 was hit a nine iron onto the green from the middle of the 72nd fairway and two-putt for the most astonishing victory the game has ever seen. But he decided on an eight iron, sent it just off the back edge and from there raced his first putt eight feet past and missed the return. On Watsons own admission the wheels then came off in the four-hole play-off with fellow American Cink, who took his first major title at two under par to Watsons four over. Eleven years older than Julius Boros was when he set the record for oldest major winner at the 1968 US PGA, Watson now moves on to Sunningdale for the Senior British Open starting on Thursday. Butnothinghedoestherecangrabthe attention of the sporting world in the wayhedidrightfromhisopening65last Thursday. Back on the course where his Duel in the Sun with Jack Nicklaus took place in 1977 he matched his great rivals closing birdie to win by one then Watson dominated the week. Asked for the most abiding memory of his adventure Watson thought and answered: I think coming up the 18th hole again. 36 Monday, 20 July 2009 London Lite LITESPORT LITE&BITTER Gotanaxetogrind?Doithere... HOW hard was it watching the play-off at Turnberry? Having played four brilliant rounds poor old Tom was suddenly found wanting. Nevertheless, well done! Graeme, N1 I HOPE Neal Collins is suitably disgusted with himself for his article on Englands cricketers. After saying how awful they were I bet he changes his tune now! Sums up this countrys media, has Neal even played cricket before? Tim Not as disgusted as he was with that particular performance. And, for the record, he was playing only yesterday and scored 57 Ed RYANALDO (L&B 17/07) did you think that name and Wadsy the Wally up all by yourself? And you talk about other peoples brain cells. Are you another glory hunter that will now support Real Madrid? Go to a few games and dont be an armchair mug. Spicy I WISH all you fans of little London clubs like Spurs and Arsenal would change the record ManUForever To be considered for publication, texts must be submitted with name and address or postcode. Please restrict messages to 25 WORDS. Thanks. >>Text TELLUS to 65800 followed by a space and your messageEach text costs 50p plus standard network charges >>Text LL RANT to 65400 Terms apply. See thisislondon.co.uk/lite THE OLD FOGEY ALMOST DID IT Going on holiday? You can now keep up with all the action in LiteSport by logging on to: e-edition.thelondonlite.co.uk Matteo finish inspired by a 43-year gap MATTEO MANASSERO, 16, admits he was inspired by Tom Watson, 59, as he became the youngest winner of the Silver Medal. The Italian finished with a 69 for a two-over total and a share of 13th place, making him the top amateur. Manassero (right) said: Playing with Tom Watson I grew up a little bit, Even if he didnt say something to you, even if he didnt give you advice, you have grown up just watching him. It was great. Leaving here with the Silver Medal is special for me, a great achievement. Asked if he planned to turn pro now, Manassero added: I want to finish school. My parents want that and Im pretty sure I will. Cink or swim: Tom Watson on the 18th, with victory in sight, raced his first putt eight feet past, then missed the return the headline Tom Watson wrote himself BY GEOFF TEATHER So-close Westwood is utter-Lee fed up LEE WESTWOOD knows he missed a golden opportunity to win his first major. The Worksop golfer bogeyed the last hole when a par would have got him into a three-way play-off with veteran Tom Watson and eventual champion Stewart Cink. He ended up in a tie for third with compatriot Chris Wood, who finished fifth and won the Silver Medal as leading amateur 12 months ago at Royal Birkdale, but knows it should have been better. I played great all week. Third place is not to be sniffed at in a major championship but it is disappointing really, said Westwood, who finished third at last years US Open after missing a play-off by one shot. I had a chance to win the Open Championship, a great chance. Im a shot out of the play-off on both. They are both pretty sickening but this is the Open Championship and it means the most to me. Westwood had an outside chance with his 80-foot birdie attempt at the 18th which, had it dropped, would have made him the first English winner of the Claret Jug since Nick Faldo in 1992 at Muirfield. Criminally he raced it 10ft past and then could not hole the one coming back which would have given him a two-under total and put him level with clubhouse leader Cink. He then had to watch on television as the 59-year-old Watson, at three under and needing a par at the last to win his record-equalling sixth Open, made bogey to drop into a play-off with his fellow American. That makes it even worse, was Westwoods immediate response.Major letdown: Englands Westwood BY HARRY LANE index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html