First 50-plus winner of a major could be around the corner

Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:38pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The outstanding displays by veteran trio Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples at the 78th Masters suggest that a 50-something major champion could be just around the corner.

American Julius Boros is the oldest winner of a 'Big Four' event, having triumphed in the 1968 U.S. PGA Championship at the age of 48, but his record has been in danger of falling several times in recent years.

Greg Norman went close in the 2008 British Open at Birkdale at the age of 53 and Tom Watson was nearer still in the same championship at Turnberry a year later, agonizingly missing out to fellow American Stewart Cink in a playoff at the age of 59.

Couples, Langer and Jimenez have featured prominently on major leader boards in recent seasons and it came as no surprise when they all mounted a title challenge at Augusta National on Sunday.

Langer and 1992 Masters winner Couples are seasoned campaigners on the Champions Tour and the American said their successes on the senior circuit was a big help when it came to mixing it with the young guns.

"The Champions Tour is tough but when you're winning all the time you feel like you're doing well when you come over on to this tour," the 54-year-old Couples told reporters after finishing 10 shots behind Masters champion Bubba Watson.

"It would be like winning the lottery to win this thing but you never know."

The 56-year-old Langer fared even better at Augusta, a closing 69 securing a share of eighth place, eight strokes adrift of Watson.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Fred Couples reacts after missing a putt on the seventh hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder