Late stumbles from co-leaders Bernhard Langer and Jeff Maggert gave extra hope to their pursuers, including history-chasing Tom Watson, after the third round at the U.S. Senior Open on Saturday.
German Langer and American Maggert bogeyed the final hole to fall back to a one-stroke lead over a group of eight, including Watson, who at age 65 is trying to become the oldest major winner in Champions Tour history.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie is also one stroke behind, while Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez is among another large group two back.
Nobody will be planning a victory speech, not with 16 players within two shots of the lead on a jam-packed leaderboard at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, California.
Langer (68) and Maggert (70) are at five-under 205.
Watson struggled on the front nine with a two-over 38, but closed with a tidy back nine for a one-over 71. “It’s like a horse race,” Watson said. “Right now I’m a length behind. Let’s see what we can do in the stretch.” Maggert, who fired an even-par 70, won the season’s first senior major, The Tradition.
Langer, who won the Senior Players Championship only two weeks ago, is trying to win for the fourth time in the last seven senior majors. “It’s too bad I finished with a bogey,” Langer said. “I didn’t mean to.”
(Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto. Editing by Andrew Both)