x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Cook finds right recipe for a final day lead

John Cook missed out on the Claret Jug in 1992, but he takes a one shot lead going into the final round at the Senior Open.

The American golfer John Cook on the par 4 18th hole at Troon.
The American golfer John Cook on the par 4 18th hole at Troon.

TROON // Nick Faldo won the British Open at Muirfield in 1992, but many golf fans will recall it as the year that John Cook should have claimed the Claret Jug. The American missed a smallish putt that saw him bogey the 17th hole, before another dropped shot at the 18th allowed Faldo in to collect his third Open title. It may be a small measure of consolation, but some 16 years on Cook is poised to complete victory at the Senior British Open.

"Winning this week would help in the redemption process of 92," he said. Cook will start his final round with a one-shot lead over Bruce Vaughan after he enjoyed a 67 to move to six under par yesterday. Eduardo Romero is in prime postion to launch a final-day attack after a fine round of 68 helped him move to four under, one stroke behind Vaughan, who made a birdie at the last to post a 69. The defending champion Tom Watson remains in contention at one under, though two dropped shots on the final two holes may prove pivotal in denying the American a fourth senior open title.

Argentina's Romero is refusing to discount the eight-time major winner. "I think I can win this tournament," he said. "It depends on the weather, but I think seven under could be enough to win. I think that guys like Tom Watson and Greg Norman are still in contention in this tournament. "Especially Watson, who will be very dangerous coming from behind." Norman lost in a play-off for the British Open here in 1989, and has given himself an outside chance of victory.

The Australian finished in third place at the Open last week, and posted a third-round four-under par 67. He is one over for the tournament. Bernhard Langer carded a level-par 71, and will start the final round on one under. @Email:dkane@thenational.ae