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By Tim CarrollThe Journal provides minute-by-minute analysis of today's final round of the British Open from Turnberry, Scotland.

Journal staffer Tim Carroll offers commentary on the 138th Open Championship, which ended in Stewart Cink's victory over Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff, and the ABC telecast.

AFP/Getty ImagesStewart Cink kisses the Claret Jug after beating Tom Watson in a four-hole playoff to win the British Open for his first major title.

For more British Open coverage, including a live leaderboard, click here.In the end, the British Open got a worthy champion.

All major championships do, of course.It might not be the champion we want, or the champion we think "ought" to win.

But the man who gets to kiss the Claret Jug had to play good, often great, golf for four days, battling the course, the other players and his own inner demons.Fifty-nine-year-old Tom Watson was the people's choice.

Watson, who didn't show his age until that four-hole playoff, has been a worthy British Open champion five times in his life.

So far.

Who knows what next year will bring?Stewart Cink, 23 years Watson's junior, has been tapped for greatness for years.

He has been a stalwart in U.S.

golf for a long time, a star at last year's Ryder Cup.

Now, he has fulfilled that promise of greatness.And the beauty of golf is that who knows what the next tournament will bring? The PGA Championship is next month.

Stay tuned.2:34: Stewart Cink is the Champion Golfer of the Year.2:30: Cink put his second shot to three or four feet.

Watson is short and in trouble, not that it matters.

With Cink's four-stroke lead, the applause is building as they walk up the 18th fairway.

I'm thinking it's for both men.

One has his name on the Claret Jug five times, more than all but one man in history.And one will get his name on that Jug for the first time tonight.2:25: Cink hits a perfect drive on 18.

Watson is wide right into the crowd.2:23: Tom Watson is fighting back tears on the 18th tee.

It might be that the wind has picked up, but I don't think so.2:21: Cink two-putts for birdie.

Watson makes a hash of the 17th, missing a short putt and making a double-bogey.With the 18th the only hole left in the four-hole playoff, the score is: Cink 11, Watson 15.The engraver can start to put Stewart Cink's name on the Claret Jug.

It used to be the golfer's duty to put his own name onto the Claret Jug over the year that he held it.

That changed when Roberto Di Vicenzo, who is most famous for signing an incorrect scorecard at the 1968 Masters, simply forgot to have someone engrave his name on the Claret Jug when he won.2:16: Watson's fourth from 137 yards checks up short.

He'll putt for par before Cink putts for eagle.2:13: Watson's second shot stayed in the wispy long stuff.

He still can't reach the green with his third.

He still is more than 100 yards back.Cink's second shot runs on the green and he has a long putt for eagle.2:11: The ball is found.

But Watson can't reach the green.2:08: Cink hit something less-than-driver into a good spot.Watson hit driver left.

Way left.

The microphone picked him up, saying what might be the understatement of the day: "That's no good."The announcers just briefly mentioned that when you get tired, your legs stop working and you go left.Uh-oh! No one can seem to find Watson's ball.

"That's no good."2:02: Watson made his par putt, about 10 feet, an all-world up-and-down.Cink then had to think about his four-footer, but made it.Through two holes: Cink 7, Watson 8.They head to the 17th tee, the (relatively) easy par-five.2:00: Watson puts the ball straight up into the sun and leaves the ball about 10 feet from the hole.Now, Cink must two-putt.1:57: This might be time for a reality check.

It was one thing when Tom Watson was riding his emotions and the "Old Geezer" was just playing golf.

Now, he's playing against Stewart Cink, who is 23 years younger and is going to win nine out of 10 times they play.Cink put his ball on the second playoff hole on the back of the green, and has about 30 feet.

Watson missed the green way right.

He's going to struggle to make par.The TV announcers are talking in tones they think this is over.

It's not, of course.

Or maybe it's not.1:52: Watson came up a foot or so short on his par putt, tapped in for bogey.

Cink made his 8-10 footer for par.After one hole: Cink 4 Watson 5.1:44: Greg Norman's fans like to say that he was snakebit, pointing out, for instance that Norman lost a playoff for the British Open the first year it went to a multi-hole playoff, instead of sudden victory.

This despite the fact that he birdied the first hole of the playoff, meaning the prior year he would have won.

Of course, I remember watching that one on TV and the commentators were, almost literally, screaming at his club choices in the playoff.

One I remember is when he hit driver on the final hole, bringing a bunker into play.

Norman hit his drive into that bunker and never did get out, and wound up in his pocket in that playoff.

He walked in and never did post a score in the playoff.Both players have hit their second shots at the green; neither is very good as both wound up in greenside bunkers.

Tom Weiskopf just mentioned fatigue.Cink hit a tremendous bunker shot, about six feet for par.

Watson has 30 or 40 feet.

Maybe more.1:41: They're off on the first playoff hole, the fifth.

Watson hit driver in the middle of the fairway.

Cink hit an iron, also in the middle of the fairway.ABC is really understating it now.

I could use some filler material or analysis at this point.

Although the golf has been so good, I forgot to be annoyed by the commercials.1:36: The playoff will be four holes at stroke play.

The holes are five, six and 17 and 18.

Both men played the four holes today in 16 strokes.1:30: Five men shot three-under 67s today for the low rounds of the day, one of those by Chris Wood, who finished a stroke out of the playoff.

Stewart Cink shot 69.

Tom Watson shot 72.

No matter what happens, one bounce this way or that for either man could have ended this already.Lee Westwood must live with another "what if …" Ross Fisher must get to his very pregnant wife.1:26: Watson put a horrible stroke on it.

The putt was never online, never going to get to the hole.

The length was more like 10 feet, ABC said.There is a four-hole playoff with Americans Stewart Cink and Tom Watson.1:25: Goggin burned the edge and tied for fifth.

One putt left.1:23: Watson, the part Scot, putts the ball from the fringe.

And in the Hollywood ending, has about a six-footer for the Championship.

ABC is talking about the four holes for the playoff.1:19: Watson probably pulled the right club, for a Tuesday, but the adrenaline sent the ball over the green.

He has a standard up-and-down for par, on a Tuesday.

For the Open Championship, though…Who knows?1:17: Westwood bogeyed 18, in fact bogeyed three of the last four holes.

He finished at minus one.If there is a playoff, it will be an all-American one of Watson and Cink.1:14: Westwood missed his miracle birdie putt on 18.

The best he can do is finish at minus two.Watson, after a long, long wait on the tee, hit a perfect drive on 18.

This is the hole that Jesper Parnevik in one of the three prior Opens here didn't look at leaderboards all day.Thinking he needed birdie, he went for a "sucker pin" and made bogey instead.

I'm thinking Tom Watson knows exactly where he stands.1:11: Westwood had to take a chance on his shot out of the fairway bunker.

He took it and hit a great shot.

He can still make four, leaving himself at minus two.

But that likely would mean he's one shot out of a playoff, the same thing that happened to Westwood at the 2008 U.S.

Open.1:08: Ahh, silly me.

I called it a chip, but the part-Scottish Tom Watson putted the ball from the fringe for his eagle try.

He missed, but still made the birdie and now does have that one-stroke lead going to 18.Now, about an hour ago, I said if this is Hollywood he has that four-foot putt to win the British Open championship.

I don't know about his nerves, but I'm not sure mine can watch that.And ABC has played this very well, very understated.

They have let the golf be the story.

And what a story.1:05: Westwood just trickled into the bunker off the 18th tee.

In the words of the late ABC commentator Bob Rosburg, "he has no shot." The best he's going to do is make par.

And with Watson having an eagle chip on 17, par might not be good enough.1:01: Westwood hit a "perfect-looking putt," as Judy Rankin said.

But it stayed out.

So he taps in for birdie and is now tied for the lead."Why now?" Curtis Strange asks.

It really looked like it wanted to go in.

But that's golf.Now, Watson gets to play the (relatively) easy par-five 17th.

He's just over the back with a (relatively) easy chip for eagle.

Presumably, he'll make eagle and head to the 18th tee with a one-shot lead.

Presumably.12:55: Westwood got a good break in the rough on 17.

He has a very makeable eagle putt that would jump him above Watson.Watson just missed the fairway, but not by much on 17.

He's likely to be able to reach the green in two.And Cink made a birdie on 18 to tie for the lead at minus-two.I just heard my first two idiots shout "Get in the hole!" The first one, at least, got booed.

I add my boos to that, too.12:54: Watson just made a putt that distance.

You know, that distance, on 16.

He still holds that one-stroke lead.12:47: I interviewed Dr.

Bob Rotella for the print edition's Saturday golf column.

While chatting with the good doctor, I told him that of my favorite stories about him is the time while giving a talk to a group in Boston, he was asked why golfers can play so well on Saturday in a major, but coming down the stretch on Sunday it just gets tougher and tougher.

His answer was to ask his questioner who his favorite actress was.

When he got an answer, he said he had cleared it with his wife, but the actress had just called him and was coming to meet him in a hotel next door tomorrow night.


Rotella said he cleared it with the man's wife, God, and anyone else who might have a say in the matter.

But here's the catch, he said: You can't think about your rendezvous until tomorrow night.

If you do, it goes up in a puff of smoke.That's what golfers need to do.

For their entire lives, when they were kids, they dreamed of this day.

Everytime they left a practice putting green as a kid, they had a putt to win the Open.

Now, they really do.And they know that if they make the putt, their dreams will come true.

Forget the million or so dollars they're playing for.

They're playing for history.

They're playing for being introduced for the rest of their life as the 2009 Open champion.But they can't think about it.

Not until the golf is over tonight.12:43: And it changes that fast: Westwood bogeys 16, Watson, the self-proclaimed "Old Geezer," is leading by one.

ABC seems to be starting to use all its material on Watson that it had for the whole telecast.

We just had our first Harry Vardon mention in more than an hour.12:42: Goggin bogeyed out of the bunker on 15.

I don't remember the caddies telling us names of things when I played here, as opposed to everything at St.

Andrews, where everything is named.

But we might consider a name for the bunker in back of 15.It's a two-way lead now: Watson and Westwood.

Wood, Cink and Goggin are one back at minus one.12:34: ABC just made its first mention of a playoff.

It would be a four-hole playoff.12:27: Westwood missed his par putt.

The trio of Westwood, Goggin and Watson leads again, but this time at minus-two.

Cink is at minus-one.And remember (insert ominous organ music here) Chris Wood is in the clubhouse at minus-one.

He can't bogey any more holesâ€"not in regulation play, that is.12:24: Cink missed.

He's back to minus-one.Westwood came out of the bunker and has about a 12-footer for par.




Forget the bar bet about eating six saltine crackers in a minute; these guys couldn't eat one, I don't think.12:22: Watson missed, burning the left edge.

Goggin missed.Westwood leads by one.

Although he just trickled into the bunker that Goosen was in.

(ABC never did show us the Goosen mess, one that needed to be cleaned up under the careful watch of a rules official.

I would have liked to have seen that.)12:20: Goggin and Watson both have very missable par putts on 14 (I'm a pessimist).

Westwood could be leading soon by himself.12:16: Goggin just got into the first bunker we've seen in a long time.ABC did show us Goosen hitting into one, a ball that seemed to be right up against the back lip of the bunker.

I hope ABC shows us how Goosen got out, even though he's not really in the championship mix anymore.

That is the fun of Scottish golf.12:06 p.m.: ABC hasn't mentioned the weather much today.

Westwood just teed off on 14 with a 23-24 mph wind in his face.

But didn't they tell us earlier that the weather was supposed to get much worse by now? Scotland weather normally can be forecast with a piece of rope: If it's wet, it's raining; if it's horizontal, it's windy.

But it seems to me they ought to be telling us if the weather is still expected to get much worse.Cink made birdie on 15.

The one par-five on the back, 17, is next.Goggin missed a birdie for the outright lead.And Tirico, sending the telecast to commercial, just called the upcoming holes "key," not the most important of anyone's life.

He really is a professional.11:56: Azinger nearly jumped across out of my TV across the Atlantic on Watson's short par putt on 12.

Watson's Achilles' heel has been those short putts.

He really shut the face, but the putt was short enough it wasn't enough off-line to miss the hole.If this was a Hollywood story, Watson will have about a four-footer on the 18th hole to win or tie.

If this is a comedy, he makes.

If this is a tragedy, he misses.Cink missed a par putt on 14.

He's two back, tied with Wood for fourth.

This might be a three-man race now.11:53: Chris Wood hit a so-so drive to start the most important hole of his life, a poor second shot for the most important shot in his life, chipped poorly on that shot of his life, then missed the putt of his life.

It all added up to a bogey on 18.

Minus-one is now the clubhouse lead.There are four men under par still on the course.

One of these four, or perhaps Wood, will win: Westwood, Goggin and Watson are minus-three.

Stewart Cink is at minus-two, although he has one of those throw-up putts to save par on 14.11:49: Azinger did just call Wood's chip on 18 "the shot of his life.

And then the putt of his life, if he doesn't hole it."11:44: Why hyperbole doesn't work: After Curtis Strange called 17 the most important hole of young Chris Woods's life, Paul Azinger just said the second shot into the 18th green was "the shot of his life." Wood put the ball over the green.

But then, I'm sure he's about to face the most important chip of his life.11:39: If Wood or Goggin wins the championship, will golfers start to not shave, a la hockey players, during championships?Watson just made a birdie.

It's a three-way tie, although Westwood is in the wispy stuff off the tee on 12.If this leaderboard, with all its momentum changes and stops and starts, was a flowchart, nothing much would get done, I'm thinking.

Wait, I think I've worked at places where the work was supposed to get done with arrows pointing everywhere.

Nothing did get done.11:34: Curtis Strange is almost taking this personally.

He said "I wouldn't mind being Chris Wood about now." Wood made birdie on 17, the most important hole of his life, and is now at minus two.

He is one back with just the 18th to play.

Posting minus two would add to the pressure considerably.Peter Alliss just left ABC-TV to head back to the BBC.

Now, I've watched golf on the BBC during my three years in Europe.

I'm not saying I want to do that, but I will miss Mr.

Alliss until next year.11:32: Watson, then Westwood both burned edges on their putts.Goggin birdied 10 and now is tied for the lead at minus three.11:22: ABC has done a good job of ignoring the missing Tiger.

NBC is awful when it has the telecast, using whatever footage it can use of Woods.

In the rain delays at Bethpage last month's U.S.

Open, NBC loved to show the previous year's Tiger-Rocco Mediate playoff.

Yes, it was epic, but it was a year old.ABC has some compelling golf to show, of course.

And the ABC golf way is very, very understated.

Not many electronic gizmos in their bag.

The early-morning comparison of Old Tom Watson's and New Tom Watson's swings was tough to follow.

I think I can understand swing theory, but I'm not sure I learned anything from that.Curtis Strange did have a strange comment when he said Chris Wood "could be about to play the most important hole of his life." He's 21.

That's a lot of life left to say something as strong as that.And Westwood bogeyed 10.

ABC was just talking to clubhouse leader Donald, who is not going anywhere.11:20: As the final group makes the turn, there are eight players still with a chance to be "The Champion Golfer of the Year."Westwood has a two-stroke lead at minus four, then Watson and Goggin are at minus two, while Wood, Cink, and Goosen are at minus one.

Luke Donald and Richard S.

Johnson are at even par and would need a considerable amount of help to get their hands on the Claret Jug.

Watson bogeyed nine.Donald missed his birdie putt on 18 and is the clubhouse leader at even-par.

Everyone over par can fuel up the jets and head out.11:09: ABC just showed us our first look at Luke Donald, who has a makeable putt on 18 for a birdie and the clubhouse lead of minus-one.

That would put a bit more pressure on the leaders still on the course.11:02: Why Peter Allis is the best: He described the ninth hole "As a way to get from the eighth to the tenth." He's not a fan of the golf on the hole.

He does love the scenery.10:58: Westwood just made a very steady par at 8.

The drive at the ninth awaits.10:56: And Chris Wood just made a birdie to bring him back to minus one.

It can come back that fast.

He's three back.10:52: Westwood is on the green at eight at minus four.

Watson is at minus three.

Goggin is at minus two.

Stewart Cink and Retief Goosen are at minus one.

Chris Wood, leading about a half-hour ago, made two bogeys and is now at even par.

That's how quickly it can go.

Of course, one putt here, one chip there, and that's how fast it can come back, too.10:49: Lee Westwood has a two-stroke lead, after making his eagle putt on the seventh.Watson had an eagle putt on seven, but missed.

He's likely to make a birdie to get to only one back.Westwood now goes to three straight tough holes on eight, nine and 10.10:43: Lee Westwood has a two-stroke lead.

He birdied six, and has an eagle putt on No.

7, the only par-five on the front.Azinger just said he has at least a couple of fingers on the Claret Jug.

It's a bit early, seeing as what happened to Fisher.

Links golf can jump up and bite you at any time.10:29: Lee Westwood poured in a birdie.

The leading group is back to three.

Wood (Chris), Watson and Westwood.10:26: And then there were only two.Tom Watson and Chris Wood are leading at minus-two.

Westwood bogeyed five, Goggin the fourth.10:25: Judy Rankin had to say it, but this might be the biggest understatement of the telecast.

As Fisher teed off on the par-three 6th, she said: "Lee Westwood obviously teed off first."If you don't have the honor on a hole after the other guy made an eight, you should consider taking up tennis.10:20: Words no one, other than maybe his family, ever expected to hear: "Chris Wood has this putt for the lead." He missed.And Fisher just made an 8 on the fifth hole.

Goosen just missed an eagle putt to tie; his birdie will put him one back.10:15: ABC is two hours and 15 minutes into the coverage.

TV can be so exasperating, but there really isn't much to complain about here.

Tom Weiskopf's commentary is terse and his monotone isn't easy to listen to.

Mike Tirico didn't know golf when started to play emcee for the shows, but he does a good job now.

Paul Azinger would be better with Nick Faldoâ€"who was listed on the leaderboard this week as Sir Nick Faldo.

He was recently knighted.

Judy Rankin always tells you something.I could see how the non-golfers in the audience, drawn in by the buzz about Watson's finding the fountain of youth, could find the commentary too sparse.

But ABC really lets the golf and the pictures tell the story.The commercials are, well, annoying, but they always are.10:10: Fisher is lying four and is seemingly thinking of taking a penalty stroke for an unplayable.

If his wife is watching, the stress of this might send her into labor.

I played golf the day my first son was born.

I quit after nine holes.

Fisher might want to quit after nine, too.

(And don't send emails; my wife was happy to let me go.

The oldest sonâ€"in fact all three sonsâ€"came early.)10:08: Fisher could be bringing everyone back into play.

He's deep into the stuff.

He's playing his second from the stuff.

He got out of the right stuff, but the ball went backward and is now in the stuff on the left side.

While I call it stuff, I'm thinking he's using another word.The group at minus-two could be leading in a minute or two.10:00: Fisher has a two-shot lead after the third hole.

He couldn't escape again from jail, bogeying the fourth.

He is at minus-four.There are four chasers at minus-two: Westwood, Goggin, Watson and Chris Wood, whose name is so similar to someone else who is supposed to be here, that I'm thinking we need to use both of his names.Retief Goosen is at minus-one.ABC is talking to Jack Nicklaus from Florida.

It's a good conversation about how to win these things.

Tom Weiskopf is providing commentary for ABC.

Terse commentary to be sure.

Weiskopf's most famous comment was at the Masters when Nicklaus was winning the 1986 Masters at age 46.

When Nicklaus got the 16th hole, another announcer asked Weiskopf what Jack was feeling.

The answer: If I knew what he was feeling, I might have won more of these things.Fisher in trouble off the tee on fifth.9:57: Watson's putting failed him.

His three-footer for par on the third hole never hit the hole.

Bogey.9:54: Watson's short game has never been in questionâ€"other than his putting.

Yes, I own his book; doesn't every golfer? He just chipped up to where he should make par on three.

Except that his putting, which did trouble him a decade back, hasn't been put under this much examination for a long time.9:50: Chris Wood of England has made the turn at 3-under for the day and 1-under for the championship.

He is one skinny dude.

But not sure Paul Azinger needed to ask if the wind whistles as it whips through his legs.Watson just hit another bad one at three.

If anyone in the field has the experience to right the ship, it's someone two months short of his 60th birthday with five of these Claret Jug replicas in his house, but he needs to do it fairly quickly.

(The winners of the Jug are allowed to make a slightly smaller replica of the Jug for themselves.

Two-time defending champion Padraig Harrington put "ladybirds"â€"what we call lady bugs on his first Jug replica.

It was basically his first son's suggestion.)9:44: American Jeff Overton and Argentina's Andres Romero posted 3-under-par 67s today.

What do you think the leaders would pay to have that score already posted? The weather is an hour or so away.9:40: Furyk makes his second consecutive bogey.

He could come back, but the pretenders are starting to fall away already.

Golf is played fast over there.Watson parred the second.Fisher is on the third hole with a longish birdie putt.9:36: I'm not sure, but I think if you look at the tape of Tiger Woods's final chip shot on the 18th hole on Friday, you can see some ABC executives trying to blow the ball into the hole.

Tiger, most times, is the story.TV got handed an acceptable substitute for a story when Tom Watson started doing his resurrection thing.

But if Watson gets off to the bad start and a relative unknown like Fisher takes control, TV can't be happy.

But that's golf.9:31: Fisher was in jail on the second hole.

He just played his "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

The announcers are talking he'll be lucky to get off the second hole with a bogey.

Instead, he just chipped in for birdie.

All of a sudden, he has a two-shot lead.9:30: Watson just bogeyed the easy first hole.

Fisher leads the championship.

This is not going to be an easy day…for anyone.9:25: The leaders are off.

Both Goggin and Watson are in good position off the tee for the right-hand hole on the first hole.Fisher, the expectant father, birdied the first hole and is now tied with Watson.

I couldn't help but watch Fisher and Westwood on the tee and think back to when Lee Trevino surprised Jack Nicklaus with a snake on the first tee in a U.S.

Open playoff.

If it was me, I might have a cellphone go off and see how Fisher's nerves are.

For those who don't know, Fisher's wife was due with their first child this past Tuesday.8:50: Before the leaders tee off (the last group is going at 9:20 a.m.

ET), Ernie Els and Matteo Manassero are making a move.

They're both even par.

Manassero is 16, 43 years Tom Watson's junior.Jack Nickalaus, who was part of the Dueled in the Sun with Watson in 1977, is said to have sent the very first text message of his life, to his former rival.

No word on what he wrote.

Maybe something like "Good 4 u, jack.

:-)"?7:55 a.m.

ET: If tennis has its "Breakfast at Wimbledon," the golf world can call this early Sunday morning "Metamucil at Turnberry."When, what we now call the British Open was the only thing going, it wasn't confusing to call it The Open Championship.

There were two men back then, father and son who won the earliest Opens, and to avoid confusion they were known as Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris.

I think we need to adopt that terminology nearly 150 years later: Young Tom Watson and Old Tom Watsonâ€"except in this case, it's the same man.There is a tendency to overdo things: If something is good, we in this day and age call it "the greatest ever." If we're happy, "we're ecstatic." Witness the recent Michael Jackson coverage.

It was a bit over the top, wouldn't you say?I'm going to try not to do that.

Let's try to keep this all in perspective, shall we? Yes, if Old Tomâ€"who's 59 years oldâ€" wins today, it will be an upset, a HUGE upset.


bookmaker Ladbroke's had Old Tom at 1,000 to 1 when the week started.

But this won't be the U.S.

versus the U.S.S.R.

in the Miracle on Ice.

That was good against evil.

There are no bad guys on the leaderboard behind him.

Fisher, Googin, Goosen, Furyk all would all be deserving champions.

I suppose Old Age is playing the part of the old Soviet Union in this morality play.In the first two majors of this year, the people setting up the course have put hole locations in spots on Sunday where birdies can be made.

It makes for great viewing and loud cheering.

The R&A, who runs this championship, appears to have done that, too.

The golfers already out on the course today are making birdies.

But the weather is supposed to get nastyâ€"rain and wind.

So strap yourself on the couch and get ready for a roller-coaster of a ride.

This should be fun.As play gets started today: Tom Watson is 4-under-par, Ross Fisher and Matther Goggin are -3, Retief Goosen and Lee Westwood are -2, Stewart Cink and Jim Furyk are -1, and Thongchai Jaidee and Bryce Molder are even-par.
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