O'Meara, Lehman, Hamilton strike a blow for older players at British Open

  • Article by: STEVE DOUGLAS , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 19, 2013 - 7:00 AM

Tom Lehman of the United States looks along the 18th fairway during the first round of the British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield, Scotland, Thursday July 18, 2013.

Photo: Peter Morrison, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

GULLANE, Scotland — They lined up four rows deep, craning their necks for a glimpse of Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Fred Couples walking onto the first tee at the British Open.

Turns out a few other older players grabbed the attention Thursday at Muirfield.

By the time Faldo, Watson and Couples trudged off the 18th green with a combined score of 16-over par, Todd Hamilton was already in the clubhouse with a 2-under 69. Then came Mark O'Meara, who wound up a shot off the lead with a 67. Tom Lehman chipped in with a 68.

All former Open champions. All with plenty of links knowledge and experience.

"One for the old farts," O'Meara said.

With 49-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez also shooting a 68, the leaderboard was starting to have the look of a senior's competition.

Darren Clarke in 2011 and Ernie Els last year showed that age should be no barrier at the Open. Both were 42 when they lifted the claret jug. O'Meara, Lehman and Hamilton are taking it to a whole new level, though, as they seek a second title on the British links.

When the Royal & Ancient chose to add Couples to the group with six-time major winner Faldo and eight-time major champion Watson, O'Meara might have wondered why he was being overlooked.

Again.

He has yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He's still waiting for the captaincy of the U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Despite two major championships — one more than Couples, the 1992 Masters champion — 24 wins around the world, five Ryder Cup teams and trophies collected from five continents, O'Meara is used to feeling left out.

So he's letting his golf do the talking this week.

The 1998 Open champion at Royal Birkdale curled in a 35-foot eagle putt at No. 17 to cap a round that reached its height at the ninth hole when he moved to 5 under.

"I realize I'm 56 but I also realize that I've won the Open championship and I know that links golf is a little bit different than playing in the Masters. It's a little bit different than playing in the U.S. Open. It's a little different than a PGA," O'Meara said. "From the standpoint that experience, I think, plays a big factor in how guys play."

At times, O'Meara feels he's playing better than he did 15 years ago.

"I understand I'm not a spring chicken," he added, "or I may not putt as good or chip as good or whatever, but the quality of shots that I hit out there today, I would say, 'Hey, that's as good as I played when I was in my prime.'"

Another claret jug would surely clinch his place in the Hall of Fame.

Hamilton is not quite as confident about his chances of staying the course this week. When asked to describe the state of his game since winning the Open at Troon in 2004, he took his time before choosing one word: Terrible.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - C. Frias 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 2:40 PM
Arizona - A. Chafin
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
Toronto - J. Happ 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Washington - B. Treinen 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Cincinnati - D. Corcino 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close