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

Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 3 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Utah 100
Sacramento 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Denver 112 FINAL
Golden State 119
Portland 99 FINAL
LA Clippers 89
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Colorado 7
Carolina 3 FINAL
Edmonton 6
Columbus 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close