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Watson late show brings back fond memories

Tom Watson revived memories of his famous "Duel in the Sun" when he closed with a six-under-par 64 and then defeated England's Carl Mason on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at the Senior British Open here yesterday.

The 53-year-old Watson, who defeated Jack Nicklaus during that duel at the 1977 Open on the same course, seemed likely to settle for second place when he bogeyed the 72nd hole to finish on a 17-under-par 263. But he was given a second chance when Mason took six on the same hole and Watson grasped it with both hands.

Both men carded par fours on the first extra hole before Watson took the title with a regulation four on the second extra hole.

Watson has now won two Senior Majors to add to the five Opens, two Masters and one US Open he won in the 1970s and 1980s. He has also now won five Champions Tour titles, as well as 39 on the US PGA Tour.

"I consider it a great honour to win this Championship, particularly at Turnberry where Jack and I fought out that great battle all that time ago," he said. "To be honest, I thought I had lost it. Carl played so great all week, I thought he would finish the job. But he didn't. That's golf, I suppose."

However, Mason's prize as runner-up takes his earnings from three Seniors Tour starts to £142,062, putting him first on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit.

England's Denis Durnian closed with a fine two-under-par 68 to share eighth place with David Eger. Ireland's Des Smyth moved up to 13th place after a scintillating 66 and England's Bob Cameron was 14th after a closing 71.

SENIOR BRITISH OPEN (Turnberry, Sco) Leading scores after final round (GB unless stated): 263 T Watson (US) 66 67 66 64; C Mason 67 64 65 67 (Watson won on the second play-off hole). 264 B Summerhays (US) 68 65 66 65. 266 T Kite (US) 66 67 66 67. 270 D Weibring (US) 69 63 65 73. 271 B Jones (Aus) 69 69 65 68; M McCumber (US) 67 69 65 70. 272 D Durnian 67 68 69 68; D Eger (US) 71 68 66 67. 273 D Quigley (US) 71 65 70 67; G Marsh (Australia) 71 68 66 68; J Colbert (US) 72 62 66 73. 274 D Smyth (Irl) 67 75 66 66. 275 S Ginn (Aus) 72 66 67 70; B Cameron 69 67 68 71; J Nicklaus (US) 70 67 67 71; F Zoeller (US) 67 69 68 71; I Aoki (Japan) 69 69 66 71. 276 C Stadler (US) 72 69 69 66.