HOYLAKE, England -- The ovation as Tom Watson walked up the 18th fairway at Royal Liverpool on Sunday was thunderous.
But the fans sitting in those massive grandstands weren't just showing respect to the beloved 64-year-old five-time Open champion. The cheers were for the eagle putt he was about to attempt and the brilliant 68 he signed for in the final round.
Watson ended up finishing 1 over for 72 holes in his 37th Open Championship. He ended up tied with one player currently inside the nine automatic qualifiers for his Ryder Cup team in Jason Dufner and beating two, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson, the latter of whom missed the cut.
Not to mention, Watson's Sunday 68 was seven strokes better than what one of his prime candidates for a Captain's Pick, Tiger Woods. He beat the reigning U.S. Open champ in Martin Kaymer, too.
"That was a good day," said Watson, who two-putted for birdie on the final hole Sunday. "I enjoyed that."
Watson now heads to this week's Senior Open Championship at Royal Portcawl in Wales as one of the favorites. He's won the over-50 Open title three times already and his game certainly appears primed.
"I don't know anything about the golf course but it's fun to finish with a birdie and finish the way I did, and get ready to go to the next tournament," Watson said.
"You feel lighter. You don't feel heavy. You don't feel like you have a burden that you're taking with you. Keep it running. Keep the engine running, if you can. Wake up every morning not in too much pain and go from there."