Norman fades, Roberts takes 2009 Senior British Open

Greg NormanGREG NORMAN was in the hunt until the final few holes of the British Senior Open before opening the way for American Loren Roberts to claim his second title.

It was oh so familiar territory for Norman, who went into the final round with a one stroke lead over Fred Funk and Roberts after a storming 64 on Saturday.

What can you say, Norman has led eight times after 54 holes in major championships – most recently last year’s Open at Royal Birkdale – but only once converted that into a victory, the 1986 Open at Turnberry.

“My game felt good, no question about it. I just lack a lot of match practice,” Norman said.

The Shark double bogeyed the 17th and ended with a one over par 71 at Sunningdale on Sunday to finish tied sixth on 271.

Roberts, half way leader Funk and Irishman Mark McNulty finished the four rounds locked on 12 under par at 268.

Funk was eliminated at the first extra hole when he could only make par while Roberts and McNulty both made birdies.
Roberts beat the Irishman on the third sudden death hole.

Roberts, who won at Turnberry in 2006 and now has a spot in the British Open at St Andrews next year, said the aspect of his game that pleased him most was his mental approach.

“I’ve been struggling mentally a little bit this year,” he said.

“I haven’t been hitting the ball as sharply or as good as I can. I didn’t give up mentally today. I didn’t let the mental side get me down when I fell behind early.

“I’ve been doing some physical things, making some adjustments here and there. At my age I don’t know if my body is changing a little bit. But I’ve been just trying to see if I can do a little better with what I have.”

Wayne Grady and the 63 year old Noel Ratcliffe tied for 32nd, Stewart Ginn was 68th and Graham Marsh 71st.

The Champions Tour now heads for Carmel in Indiana for this week’s US Senior Open.

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