Remove Greg Norman from your pool of players over 50 who will surprisingly hold the lead during the final round of next week’s British Open at St. Andrews. Before the Tom Watson madness last year, the then-53 year-old Norman surfaced in 2008 at Royal Birkdale and held a two-stroke lead going into the final round before shooting 77.
Norman has withdrawn from this year’s British Open, saying “it is taking me longer than expected to regain my competitive form.” Norman had shoulder surgery last September and hasn’t played a tournament since. He’ll also miss the four-hole Champions Challenge on Wednesday. After tying for third in 2008, Norman missed the cut at last year’s British Open. (Yes, that’s what we call it here in the States.)
Fellow Australian Jason Day will replace Norman.
As for which Champions Tour player will lead the British Open this year? Your candidates are:
- Mark Calcavecchia (50): 1989 winner; only has one other top 10 at British Open
- Tom Lehman (51): 1996 winner; tied for fourth in 2000 at St. Andrews
- Nick Faldo (52): three-time winner; tied for 11th in 2005 at St. Andrews
- Sandy Lyle (52): 1985 winner; only has one top 10 at British Open since
- Mark O’Meara (53): 1998 winner; no finish better than 22nd at British Open since win
- Tom Watson (60): five-time winner (and three Senior British Opens); lost playoff last year (previous top 10 at British Open in 1997)
I’ll give it a whirl and say Nick Faldo. Maybe they can mic him up?