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Watson: Porthcawl is tougher than Hoylake

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 23, 2014 at 10:58 am •  Published: July 23, 2014

PORTHCAWL, Wales (AP) — Tom Watson, one of the all-time masters of links golf with five British Open championships under his belt, has taken to his heart Royal Porthcawl, the venue for the British Senior Open starting on Thursday.

"This is a great test of golf, I fell in love with it immediately," said Watson, a three-time British Seniors winner.

He tees up in the first two rounds with Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie, winner of the year's first two senior majors, the Senior PGA and the U.S. Senior Open.

"Knowing where you can hit the ball is a key factor in links golf, simply because it runs so far, and this course is in great shape and will prove a true test, especially if the wind blows."

Champion in 2003, 2005 and 2007 at Turnberry, Royal Aberdeen and Muirfield respectively, Watson arrived at Porthcawl fresh from shooting a 4-under-par 68 in the final round of the British Open, won by Rory McIlroy at Hoylake on Sunday.

"This is tougher than Hoylake was," Watson said. "It really is a wonderful, wonderful golf course. Actually, I talked to Peter Dawson of the R&A about playing an Open Championship here and he said the course itself could certainly handle it, but they don't have the infrastructure."

Montgomerie, also seeing Royal Porthcawl for the first time, comes into the event full of confidence, and on course to match Gary Player's trio of senior majors in 1988.

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