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Cochran Gets First Major Title in Senior British Open
Russ Cochran closed with his second straight 5-under 67 at Walton Heath in England for a two-stroke victory in the Senior British Open. The left-handed 52-year-old from Paducah, Ky., finished at 12-under 276.
Ending up in second was Mark Calcavecchia, who shared the lead through the first three rounds. The 1989 British Open champion carded a 69. The 51-year-old was seeking to become the fourth player - after Tom Watson, Gary Player and Bob Charles - to win both the British Open and Senior British Open. He had five birdies Sunday.
Playing in the last group with the other third-round co-leader, David Frost, Cochran put the pressure on early with five birdies on the front nine for a 5-under 31. He had a birdie and a bogey on the inward nine and coasted home.
Calcavecchia came undone after a four-putt double-bogey on the par-3 ninth hole that gave Cochran a five-shot lead. The win, his third on the Champions Tour, earned Cochran $310,000.
During a greenside interview, Cochran, who had only two top-10 finishes in majors while playing on the PGA Tour, referenced his first major title of any kind. "I think it's a big hump I got over. I came close earlier in some events but didn't get it done. To do it in a major on this golf course . . . it means so much."
Tied for third at 9-under 279 were two other Americans, Corey Pavin (69) and Watson, who closed with a 67. Watson's round got kick-started after an eagle on the par-5 second hole. The 61-year-old was seeking to become the oldest winner of the Senior British Open as well as take home his fourth title in the championship.
Barry Lane of England ended up in solo fifth at 8-under 280 after a 70, while Frost carded an even-par 72 for a 281 total and sixth place. Defending champion Bernhard Langer posted a 69 and was eight shots behind Cochran in 12th along with Bob Tway (71), Gordon Brand Jr. (71) and Rod Spittle (72).