In case you haven’t heard, there is a big tournament going on this week on the Senior PGA Tour. The Senior British Open is being played at Royal Birkdale and Gene Sauers navigated the blustery conditions to shoot three under par in the first round and grab the lead. He carded birdies on holes 15 – 17 to finish on a high note heading into the second round.
Much of the talk this week has surrounded Mark O’Meara and his return to Birkdale 15 years after winning the 1998 Open Championship at the same track. This week, he even received a special “honorary membership” in recognition of his achievement almost two decades ago. “The Open here in 1998 was a dream come true for me. To hold the claret jug here on the 18th green was the icing on the cake of my career,” O’Meara said.
Even though he carded a four over par 74 in the first round and sits seven shots off of the lead held by Sauers, O’Meara has clearly had success here in the past. He’s fairly confident that he can replicate that outcome, but we’ll have to wait and see what impact that years have had on his chances. He made some noise last week at the British Open, but ultimately didn’t have enough left in the tank to remain in contention for all four rounds.
As we saw last week, seven shots is by no means an insurmountable deficit when you’re playing in the British Open. What a story it would be if O’Meara were to come back and capture the title.