Russ Cochran held off fellow Americans Tom Watson and Mark Calcavecchia to win by two shots Sunday the Senior British Open.
This is the first major title for the 52-year old Cochran who made six birdies to close at 12 under during his final round at Walton Heath to win $310,000.
Cochran opened a five-shot lead by picking up all his shots in the first 10 holes. A bogey on No. 14 may have cut his advantage to two shots but it has left him unruffled in the testing closing stretch.
This is Cochran’s first victory for the season but his third victory on the Champions Tour.
“It’s a big hump I’ve got over there,” said Cochran, whose son, Reed, was carrying his bag. His elder son Ryan was Mike Goodes’ caddie this week.
The overnight lead was shared by Cochran with Calcavecchia and South Africa’s David Frost. Calcavecchia however finished runner-up. Watson and compatriot Corey Pavin tied for third while Barry Lane finished fifth with a shot at 70 taking him to 8 under.
Cochran only had one victory to his name when he overhauled Greg Norman during the final round of the Centel Western Open in 1991.
He has however won two tournaments in September last year in a span of three weeks. He also finished third with a $175,152 check during the Senior U.S. Open in 2009 which qualified him for the high-profile events of the tour.
“That’s the beauty of the senior tour. You can have these guys that come out and shine,” Watson said. “You find these stories of the guys you don’t know about.”