Three years removed from an emotional farewell to the British Open at St. Andrews, Kansas City legend Tom Watson is turning back the clock on The Old Course.
The five-time British Open winner and three-time winner of the Senior British Open shot his age -- 68 -- on Friday after just missing the accomplishment in Thursday's first round, when he fired a 69. The jaw-dropping start found him tied for sixth at 7-under when play was suspended for the night.
Miguel Angel Jiminez and Canada's Stephen Ames share the lead at 9-under, with three golfers tied for third at 8-under.
And then there's Watson, just lighting up the course with the younger guys.
"St. Andrews is my favorite venue because of the town's right here on the 18th hole," he told reporters. "The town, of course, at 10 o'clock at night in 2015, they all came out of the pubs to see some old has-been finish up his Open Championship career here."
Watson won The Open Championship on his first attempt in 1975, becoming one of only four players to do so in their first attempt since World War II. He won The Open again in 1977, meaning his first time competing at St. Andrews would be as defending champion in 1978.
"I've seen the town change since I first started here in 1978. In 1978, there wasn't much here in the town," Watson said. "The restaurants, the various things, it was pretty closed down at night. Not a lot going on. Now there's a lot going on here, and it's fun."
Watson didn't make bogey during his first round -- something the revered veteran hadn't done in nearly two decades. Spot-on long putting and several other accurate shots allowed Watson to climb up the leaderboard early.
Watson finally recorded a bogey on the sixth hole Friday, but five birdies vaulted him into the tie for sixth.
"It's a wonderful golf course," Watson said. "You never really feel comfortable playing the golf course. Just so many humps and bumps and different things and different kind of odd lies that you get that makes it very challenging."
Play at the Senior British Open will resume on Saturday as round three gets underway.
This article is written by Shaun Goodwin from The Kansas City Star and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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