Tom Watson wasn't able to muster one more magical round. (Kirk/Getty Images)
The Live Report: Round 4
Tom Watson has plenty of firepower in his 59-year-old body, but came up short in the end.
WRAPPING UP THE 138TH OPEN (2:50 p.m.): In the end, the balky putter that has plagued Tom Watson for most of his Hall-of-Fame career reared its ugly head one more time -- and at the most inopportune of times.
All week, Watson never looked tentative with his putting stroke -- until he reached the 72nd hole and was left with 8 feet separating himself from a sixth Open Championship.
"I put myself in position to win," said Watson in a coarse voice as he fought back some tears. "I take from this week a lot of warmth and a lot of spirituality. There was something out there, I still believe that."
Just not enough to carry him to the finish line, or in the case of his approach shot on the 72nd hole, a little too much.
"In retrospect, I probably would have hit 9-iron [instead of 8-iron]," Watson said. "I hit the shot I meant to and when it was in the air I said 'I like it' then all of a sudden it was over the green."
And with it went Watson's chances.
"The playoff was one bad shot after another," Watson added. "Stewart did what he had to do to win."
As for whether his 59-year-old body ran out of gas, Watson said, "It looked like it, didn't it? It didn't feel like it, but it looked like it."
In the playoff, Watson said he hit a chubby 5-iron on the first extra hole, got stuck on his hybrid tee shot on the second playoff hole and his legs didn't work on the drive at 17.
"By [the 18th], Stewart had it pretty well in hand," Watson said. "I really felt I was playing well [coming into this week].
"This would have been a great memory. The dream almost came true."
Almost, but it wasn't any less of a great memory. -- Brian Wacker
CINK CAPTURES FIRST MAJOR (2:30 p.m.): Stewart Cink ultimately forced extra holes with Tom Watson with a birdie on the 18th hole and made another on the 18th -- even though he didn't need to this time -- in the playoff.
For Cink, it capped his first major championship and is the highlight of a career that had been admittedly a little disappointing to a player that was once the college player of the year.
For Watson, it was a week that almost was. He has absolutely zero to be ashamed of. At 59 years young, he gave the golf world thrills for 71 1/2 holes.
Stewart Cink: Major winner and champion golfer of the year. -- Brian Wacker
PLAYOFF PLAY-BY-PLAY (2:18 p.m.): Eight feet separated Tom Watson from history, but Stewart Cink appears to be making his own history and is on his way to his first career major title with a four-shot lead with one hole to play. Watson was undone by a tentative putt that never had a chance on the 72nd hole and then compounded his problems in the playoff by making a bogey on the first playoff hole and another on the third, where he drove it into the rough and couldn't get out on his next shot. Watson's approach shot from just inside 140 yards, like his putt, also came up short of the hole. The final blow for Watson was another missed putt as he three-jacked from about 80 feet away. One more hole to go for Cink. -- Brian Wacker
(2:10 p.m.): Tom Watson might finally be running out of gas (and holes). After a terrific par save on the sixth, he pulled his driver to the left and into the deep rough on the par-5 17th. Watson found the ball, but wasn't able to advance it out of the rough. You get the feeling the magic carpet ride is about to pulled out from under the five-time Open champion.
(2 p.m.): On the par-3 sixth, the eighth toughest hole on the course this week, Stewart Cink safely hit his tee shot on the green, while Tom Watson hit another errant ball, finding the rough right off the tee with a hybrid.
But just when it looked like Watson was about to fade (again), Watson made another terrific par, getting up-and-down from a blind pitch shot. Cink two-putted for his par and still leads by one going to the par-5 17th. -- Brian Wacker
(1:50 p.m.): Both Stewart Cink and Tom Watson missed the green on the hardest hole on the course, No. 5. Cink pushed a 4-iron into a greenside bunker, while Watson also came up in a bunker. Watson had a much tougher shot with a huge lip in front of him, while Cink hit a great shot with the ball below his feet. Watson lagged his putt and tapped in for bogey, while Cink managed to get up-and-down for par. -- Brian Wacker
(1:40 p.m.): Both men matched each other stroke for stroke in regulation, finishing at 2 under, and both did the same off the tee, finding the fairway off the tee on No. 5.
(1:35 p.m.): For a fourth time in eight years, the Open Championship will be decided in a playoff. The first hole in the playoff is the 474-yard, par-4 fifth -- the toughest hole on the golf course. Only 30 birdies have been made there all day, compared to 171 bogeys. Cink bogeyed the hole earlier today, while Watson made par. -- Brian Wacker
PLAYOFF BOUND (1:22 p.m.): Needing just a par on the 72nd hole to capture a sixth career Open Championship title, 59-year-old Tom Watson wasn't able to save par from just off the back of the green. He had 8 feet to win after putting it up the slope and past the hole. But the type of putt that has plagued him throughout his storied career, did so again. Watson made bogey and now will enter a four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink, beginning on the fifth hole. After that, they'll head to No. 6, then 17, then 18. -- Brian Wacker
WATSON BIRDIES THE 71ST HOLE (1:12 p.m.): Tom Watson nearly hit the 17th green in two and elected to putt from the fringe. He easily lagged up for the birdie that got him to 3 under. A birdie on No. 18 will cinch it; a par will likely be good enough for the outright win. -- Ryan Smithson
IN CINK (12:55 p.m.): Stewart Cink just became the sixth different player to hold at least a share of the lead thanks to a birdie on the 18th just moments ago.
It might be short-lived with Lee Westwood making birdie on No. 17 and Tom Watson in good position off the tee on the par-5 hole, but he still whipped the crowd into a bit of a frenzy on the finishing hole and gave them a big fist pump after making the putt.
What's going to absolutely kill Cink, however, are the two putts he missed on 16 and 17. Both were inside 8 feet and both were putts that you would have expected him to make. As it stands, though, Cink is in at 2 under and now will sit and wait. -- Brian Wacker
DOWN THE STRETCH (12:45 p.m.): Holding a one-shot lead coming down the stretch at the Open Championship is far more nerve-wracking than it is comfortable, but Tom Watson sure looks relaxed, or at least as relaxed as anyone in his position could be.
Maybe it's the five previous Open Championship victories, his 59 years of wisdom or some combination of both, but his shot to the 16th green was right where it had to be and left him about 35 feet for birdie. He two-putted for par and though the issue is still in doubt in terms of this tournament, Watson looks awfully good right now. -- Brian Wacker
THREE-WAY TIE (12:35 p.m.): The Open Championship is the only major championship that uses a four-hole playoff. The Masters is sudden death; the U.S. Open is 18 holes; the PGA Championship is three holes.
The last playoff in the British Open was 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie.
With three tied for the lead at 2 under could we be headed for another one? -- Ryan Smithson
WATSON DROPS A SHOT (12:15 p.m.): The balky putter Tom Watson is known for sometimes displaying just reared its ugly head on No. 14.
Watson bogeyed the hole and has now fallen back to 2 under.
Meanwhile, Stewart Cink also just missed a short birdie putt on No. 16 that would have moved him into the lead.
Last but not least, Lee Westwood found a pot bunker on his approach shot on the 15th hole.
What do all those shots have in common? Nerves. -- Brian Wacker
MORE FROM WOOD (12:05 p.m.): The bogey on No. 18 could cost Chris Wood. How much we won't know for a little while yet.
The leader in the clubhouse at 1 under, the 21-year-old who was the silver medalist as the low amateur in last year's Open Championship, admitted that his 9-iron approach that went long was a mix of adrenaline and a flyer.
Nonetheless, his 67 was a very good score on a very difficult day for scoring.
"[No.] 14, 15 and 16 are tough holes," Wood. "If you can get through there in level par, you're doing nicely."
That's exactly what Wood did with a bogey, birdie and a par. Now he'll sit and wait to see what everyone else does there. -- Brian Wacker
THE NUMBER TO BEAT, FOR NOW (11:50 a.m.): Chris Wood played so well today that he could have shot as low as 64 or 65. Instead, he just finished off a round of 67 after sliding his par putt past the hole on the 18th.
Still, that has Wood in the clubhouse lead at 1 under. That probably won't hold up, but it's the second year in a row that Wood will finish in the top 5 (barring something drastic). -- Brian Wacker
Below is a look at Wood's scorecard from today:
THREE TIED AT THE TOP (11:45 a.m.): We're down to the last seven holes, barring a playoff, at the Open Championship and only five players are under par and three of them -- Lee Westwood, Matthew Goggin and Tom Watson -- are tied for the lead at 3 under.
There aren't many birdies left on the back nine and Nos. 14, 16 and 18 are playing as some of the toughest holes on the course.
There are birdies out there -- specifically on Nos. 15 and 17 -- but those holes still require some good shots.
Who will emerge from the pack? Who knows, but we'll find out in a couple of hours. -- Brian Wacker
LEONARD LEAVES ON HIGH NOTE (11:35 a.m.): Justin Leonard, who won the Open Championship in 1997, has closed with a 68 that appears to have moved him into the top 10. It was the first time he’d broken par at Turnberry in a very solid week.
“I think a little bit of luck and a couple of better bounces, it could have been my week,” the Texan said. “But I'm still really pleased with the way I played.”
Leonard, who had missed the cut in two of his last three starts, including the U.S. Open, said he’d been tinkering with his swing of late. “All the changes worked beautifully this week,” he said.
As for the rest of the championship, Leonard said “I'm just going to take my shoes off and enjoy watching the rest of the day.” He’s clearly in Tom Watson’s corner, too.
“I think it's great,” Leonard said. “I think he may be a little bit inspired by how Greg played last year, and, I mean, you know, he's the king of links golf as far as Americans are concerned and maybe throughout the world, as many Open Championships that he's won as well as Senior Opens.
“So it's great to see him come over here, and, you know, it would be nice to see him add a few more years to his exemption.” -- Helen Ross
TURNING TO THE BACK (11:20 a.m.): The final groups are on the back nine at Turnberry, where Lee Westwood's lead is about to shrink and where Tom Watson and Matthew Goggin will sit just one shot back.
One player already in is Luke Donald, who shot 67 and is at 1 under for the week. It's unlikely he'll need to stick around, but he will anyway because you never know what will happen over the final nine, especially with the wind blowing as hard as it has all week.
"The back nine is certainly tricky," Donald told ABC's Terry Gannon. "There are some chances coming down the stretch, but you never know. The last few groups are pretty pressurized." -- Brian Wacker
NEW LEADER (10:40 a.m.): Right on cue, Lee Westwood just kept the winds of change theme going by rolling in an eagle putt on No. 7 to take a two-shot lead at 4 under. -- Brian Wacker
WILD, WILD WEEKEND (10:35 a.m.): The wind hasn't stopped blowing since Friday and with it has brought all sorts of change on the leaderboard this weekend.
An hour ago, 59-year-old Tom Watson was looking like he might run out of gas the way Greg Norman did last year when he opened with a bogey and Ross Fisher started birdie-birdie to take a two-shot lead.
Well, Watson and Lee Westwood are all tied for the lead at 2 under with Fisher having fallen back after a bogey on No. 4 and a snowman on No. 5.
Fisher isn't out of it yet, though. He's just two back and currently there are 10 players within three shots of the lead. Almost all of those 10 still have a realistic chance of winning with so much golf still left to be played, especially on a back nine that's proven so difficult. -- Brian Wacker
ALBATROSS SIGHTING (10:15 a.m.): Paul Lawrie’s albatross -- the first of his career -- came courtesy of a 4-iron from 213 yards at the seventh hole. It was the fifth double eagle at the Open Championship since 1982 and sparked a round of 68 for the 1999 champion.
“I saw it go in, too, which was nice,” Lawrie said. He also holed a 3-iron from the fairway at the par-4 17that Royal St. George’s in 2003. “But I’ve never had a 2 at a par 5 before – never.”
The other double eagles came from Gary Evans in 2004 (No. 4, Royal Troon), Jeff Maggert in 2001 (No. 6, Royal Lytham), Greg Owen in 2001 (No. 11, Royal Lytham), Manny Zerman in 2000 (No. 5, St. Andrews) and Bill Rogers in 1983 (No. 17, Royal Birkdale). -- Helen Ross
WOOD NO STRANGER TO SUCCESS (10 a.m.): Chris Wood might be doing his best Ben Curtis impression today, playing well in the final round and posting an early number for everyone else to chase. That's what Curtis did in winning the 2003 Open Championship and it's what Wood is trying to do right now. And this isn't the first time we've seen Wood play well in the final round of the Open Championship.
Wood has an eagle (at No. 7) and two birdies (on Nos. 8 and 10) and zero bogeys through 11 holes. There aren't many birdies left on the back nine save for the par-5 17th, but if Wood, 2 under right now, can get in the clubhouse at 3 or 4 under that might be enough.
Last year, Wood, playing as an amateur, finished in a tie for fifth at Royal Birkdale after shooting a final-round 72. He turned pro after that, played in eight European Tour events with a season-best finish of a tie for 10th in Portugal and eventually went on to finish fifth in European Tour qualifying school. -- Brian Wacker
KING OF SCOTLAND (9:45 a.m.): Tom Watson, wearing a light blue sweater and black pants, was greeted by a standing ovation as he walked from the practice green to the first tee.
The crowd was three-deep along the fairway and a phalanx of photographers with telephoto lenses huddled, pyramid-style, some crouching, others kneeling, near the gallery ropes on the left side. The shutters whirled as Watson walked past the bleachers and looked left toward the Irish Sea and right toward the flags at the top of the grandstands beside the 18th green to check the wind.
Goggin was the first to tee off, and two fans in the bleachers stood up, holding an Australian flag. No Stars and Stripes for Watson, but the applause was loud and sustained. Unfortunately, his start wasn't what he wanted, as he couldn't save par from a greenside bunker and Ross Fisher suddenly was in the lead. -- Helen Ross
FISHER MAKES SECOND CONSECUTIVE BIRDIE (9:35 a.m.): Ross Fisher's approach shot on the par-4 second hole misfired, but he executed a brilliant bump-and-run that rolled into the hole for a birdie. He leads Watson by two. -- Ryan Smithson
FISHER TIES WATSON (9:20 a.m.): Tom Watson's 54-hole lead didn't last long on Sunday -- Englishman Ross Fisher birdied the short par-4 first hole to reach 4 under. -- Ryan Smithson
MIRACLE MAN (8:30 a.m.): The player scoring stats distributed in the media center have some interesting categories aside from the normal eagles, birdies, pars, bogeys and double bogeys. There is one called "disasters," which we would know as triple bogeys or worse and another called "miracles."
As of the end of round three there were no miracles, but Paul Lawrie's double eagle will certainly be added to that category Sunday. -- Helen Ross
END TO A GREAT RUN (8:19 a.m.): Padraig Harrington is ever the class act.
When the Irishman finished off a disappointing title defense with a round of 73 on Sunday, he saluted the cheering crowd and walked over to the area where several children sat in wheelchairs and handed golf balls to them. He also shook hands with an older gentleman sitting nearby.
Although he had a glimmer of hope after an opening 70, Harrington only made six birdies during a difficult week. Conversely, the two-time defending champ had 16 bogeys and one double bogey.
So the Claret Jug that Harrington has had at home in Dublin for the last two years will belong to someone else this evening.
"It's come to an end," Harrington said. "Inevitably it always would. I've another 28 of these to come back to so I look forward to that -- and with Tom Watson showing that it's possible to be competitive for another 28 years..
"It was very nice to get a nice reception (at the 18th). But it can't go on forever. I know I will come back and compete in many more Opens and win some more majors. "
Harrington is now focused on his title defense at the PGA Championship next month. "I believe my game will be good and strong going into that, and that's what I have to aim for," he said. -- Helen Ross
A CHECK OF THE WEATHER (8:10 a.m.): Sunday dawned sunny and bright but conditions are expected to deteriorate into the late afternoon – about the time the leaders are making the turn.
There is a 60 percent chance of light showers arriving around 4 p.m. ET and the possibility increases to 80 percent by 8 p.m. A brief shower dampened the course around noon. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s to low 60s.
The winds have changed once again – blowing from the west-south west at 10-15 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph. Along the lighthouse shore the gusts could approach 30 mph.
Tom Watson and Mathew Goggin tee off at 2:20 p.m. local time (9:20 a.m. ET). -- Helen Ross
THE VIEW IS FREE (8:09 a.m.): One of the beauties of the Open Championship is that it’s the only major where you can just walk up and buy a ticket. So for 25 pounds ($40.83) you could come to Turnberry on Sunday and see if history can be made. -- Ryan Smithson
MRS. STENSON? (8:08 a.m.): The tiny fishing village just 2 miles north of Turnberry is Maidens. Legend has it that Robert the Bruce, the exiled Scottish King, landed there when he sailed from Rathlin Island more than 700 years ago.
Mid-morning on Sunday, as fans began pouring into Turnberry, a woman was getting her daily run -- wearing a gray t-shirt with THE PLAYERS on it. -- Helen Ross
VIJAY WANTED A PLACE TO HIT BALLS (8:05 a.m.):How good is this? Tom Watson is staying in the Watson suite at the majestic Turnberry Hotel, which sits high atop a hill overlooking the Ailsa Course.
In a portion of it, that is.
“Vijay is in the big part of the suite,” Watson said with a smile. “I'm in the small room.”
If he wins his sixth Open on Sunday, though, Watson might need to take over the entire hotel for the celebration. -- Helen Ross
DOUBLE EAGLE (8 a.m.): There are some red numbers out there early Sunday.
Paul Lawrie shot 68 with a triple and an albatross at the par-5 seventh. Kevin Sutherland is climbing the leaderboard, too. He holed a shot from the fairway at the fifth hole and followed with birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. -- Helen Ross