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It was an emotional moment on the 18th green at Turnberry as Tom Watson was brought to tears by cheers from adoring fans who showed a lot of love for the Open's 54-hole leader. (Little/Getty Images)

The Daily Wrap-up: Open Championship, Third Round

With 54 holes of the 2009 British Open in the books, five-time Claret Jug winner Tom Watson, who is 59, still has the lead heading into the final round of golf's oldest championship.

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) -- Tom Watson shot a 1-over 71 that kept the him out front heading to the final round at a blustery Open Championship, where the scores kept going up, but the 59-year-old never faltered on Saturday.

Three years shy of qualifying for retirement pay and playing on a surgically replaced left hip that's less than a year old, Watson showed the kids how it's done. He pulled off several brilliant par saves, played it safe when he needed to and shook off a string of bogeys that briefly cost him the lead.

"That's been the game plan," Watson said. "I'm pretty close to it."

At the end, pure magic for the second day in a row.

Watson followed Friday's 75-foot birdie putt at No. 16 by curling one in from 30 feet away at the same hole, pulling even with Australia's Mathew Goggin and England's Ross Fisher.

"The putt I made at 16, I was about ready to make all day," Watson said. "When I hit it I said, 'I've got it right on the line I want. Let's see if it breaks.'"

It did. The crowd went crazy.

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WESTWOOD AND FISHER LOOKING TO BREAK ENGLISH DROUGHT


By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Lee Westwood has been there before. Ross Fisher, on the other hand, may have to go somewhere else.

The two men, though, are primed to end a 17-year English drought at the Open Championship that dates back to Nick Faldo's third and final victory in 1992.

The 28-year-old Fisher, who is on pins and needles with the arrival of his first child imminent, starts Sunday's final round of the 138th renewal at Turnberry tied for second with Mathew Goggin, one stroke behind the ageless Tom Watson.

Westwood, who has 18 wins on the European Tour as well as one in America, is another stroke further back at 2 under and in a tie with two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen. Both Fisher and Westwood, who finished fourth at Royal Troon in 2004, shot 70s on Saturday.

"I'm not sure why a British guy hasn't won the Open," Fisher said. "We've got a tremendous amount of talent in the game, you know.  Hopefully that will win tomorrow -- whether it's myself or whether it's Lee or someone else.

"It's a shame, but hopefully we can boost the British game and European golf and try and get a win."

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EASIEST HOLE TOUGHEST HOLE
The 559-yard par-5 17th. It has played to a scoring average of 4.432 through 54 holes. There have been 17 eagles, 213 birdies, 130 pars, 20 bogeys, three double bogeys and one "other." The 474-yard par-4 fifth. It has played to a scoring average of 4.467 through 54 holes. There have been 29 birdies, 179 pars, 148 bogeys, 27 double bogeys and two "others."
SHOT OF THE DAY
ROUND OF THE DAY
Still toting around a white-hot putter, Tom Watson served the fans another brilliant putt Saturday, this time a 30-footer on the 16th for birdie to tie the lead at that time.

Bryce Molder had the low round of the day by two strokes with his 3-under 67 that included five birdies and just two bogeys. The 67 moved him from 45th into a tie for eighth.
WATSON'S PLAN FOR SUNDAY? KEEP FOLLOWING HIS PLAN

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- Tom Watson knows what we've been thinking.

He shoots 65 in the first round of the 138th Open Championship, and we're pretty darn  impressed. Not bad for an old guy, we say, but there's no way it can last.

Watson grabs a share of the lead after the second round -- on a day when Tiger Woods misses the cut -- and we're wondering what happened to his AARP card. Shouldn't he be saving this for next week's Senior British Open?

But when the man who will celebrate his 60th birthday in 47 days takes a one-stroke lead into the final 18 holes, we're afraid it's simply too good to be true. And we'll be glued to TV sets around the globe to see whether Watson can pull off the game's biggest coup.

"Now you kind of perk up your ears and say, this old geezer might have a chance to win the tournament," Watson said with a knowing smile. "… I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know one thing, I feel good about what I did today. I feel good about my game plan.

"And who knows, it might happen."

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MASTERY OF THE GREENS KEEPS WATSON'S DREAM ALIVE

By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- In the 1980s and 1990s, Tom Watson's nemesis was a balky putter that cost him tournaments on more than one occasion.

But, apparently, time really does heal all wounds.

Watson and his putter have been like carrots and peas at Turnberry this week in the 138th Open Championship, where the 59-year-old, five-time Open Champion will take an unimaginable, yet incredibly inspiring one-shot lead into the final round at 4 under after a 1-over 71 on Saturday. 

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SECOND GO-ROUND WITH WATSON COULD BE HUGE FOR GOGGIN

By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer

TURNBERRY, Scotland -- After 54 holes in the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry, Australian Mathew Goggin finds himself in an extremely unfamiliar position -- one shot off the lead in golf's oldest championship on the land where the game was born.

Goggin braved the wind and fashioned an impressive 1-under 69 Saturday. At 3-under 207 total, he is one shot behind a legend -- 59-year-old, five-time Open Champion Tom Watson, who will play alongside Goggin in the final pairing on Sunday.

Under the circumstances, Sunday will most certainly trump the last time Goggin was paired with Watson. It was in the third round of the 2003 Open Championship at Royal St. Georges, and that was pretty darned special, too.

"That was probably the highlight of the British Open for me, playing with Tom Watson in the third round, because he's such a great player and such a great champion, especially at the British Open," Goggin said, reflecting on 2003. "And it was also shocking just how good he was. I mean, it was ridiculous. I played with him, and I'm thinking, you know, he's getting on in years and not playing so much and he's just smashing it around this golf course.

"And, you know, I was really impressed. He was really good to me, and I had a really great experience," he added. "It was definitely a highlight of the Open for me."

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INSIDE THE ROPES WITH THE PGA TOUR NETWORK

PGA TOUR Network correspondent Brian Katrek offers these observations from Saturday's action. Listen to PGA TOUR Live coverage on XM 146/SIRIUS 209 or at PGATOUR.COM.

There is a big difference between Greg Norman leading last year's Open Championship and Tom Watson this year. Norman only played in four events before last year's Open. Watson has four top-25s already this year -- all on the Champions Tour, but success is success. 
 
Ross Fisher had the same answer all four times I heard people ask about leaving the tournament if his wife goes into labor, or labour as they probably spell it over here. "We will cross that bridge if we come to it" he said. "If" we come to it. Not "when" we come to it. The child might lead a slightly better life if his or her father won the Open Championship instead of leaving in the final round. Just another of the fascinating stories shaping up for the final round.
    
What an adventure the BBC coverage of this tournament is.  They have such a different and slower pace than their American counterparts on TNT and ABC. I watched two monitors side by side for about two hours, and the American broadcast showed at least three times more golf shots.

Interestingly, the BBC coverage doesn't have commercials but there's a lot of chatting. Some of it from folks who don't know their mics are on. The camera work is more than suspect, too. But, the BBC folks do have one advantage ... Peter Alliss.  I could listen to that guy reciting the alphabet. And if I watch long enough, they might decide to try that.

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