CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND >> Paul Broadhurst won the Senior British Open on Sunday at Carnoustie for his first senior major title, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Scott McCarron.
The 50-year-old Broadhurst overcame an opening 75 to become the third English player to win a PGA Tour Champions major, joining Mark James and Roger Chapman. Broadhurst also is the first player to win the event in his debut since Fred Couples in 2012 at Turnberry.
"It's massive, absolutely massive," Broadhurst said. "I'm not aware of how big it is yet, honestly. I'm trying not to think about it. Beyond my wildest dreams to be honest. This sort of thing doesn't happen to players like me normally. I've won a few tournaments over the years, but nothing anywhere near as big as this event. I feel very, very privileged to have won this event."
Broadhurst shot a 66 on Friday and a 68 on Saturday to enter the final round four strokes behind leader Miguel Angel Jimenez. The winner birdied the par-5 sixth, par-4 10th, par-3 13th and par-4 15th in his bogey-free round in mostly cloudy conditions with 8-16 mph wind and occasional drizzle. He finished at 11-under 277.
McCarron bogeyed the par-3 16th and par-4 18th in his 69.
"I didn't really have everything this week," McCarron said. "I had a bad neck all week and was kind of playing around that a little bit. I just didn't putt all that well all week long but I kind of hung in there. I had a chance with a couple holes to go, so that's all you can ask for. Unfortunately, the bogeys on 16, 18, cost me the tournament."
Jimenez had a 75 to drop into a tie for third with Magnus Atlevi (67) at 8 under.
"The 75 today was the other side of the coin from yesterday," Jimenez said. "I was a little bit tense, not loose in the beginning of the round, and then didn't play as well as yesterday."
Broadhurst earned $279,144, a full PGA Tour Champions exemption through the 2017 season, a spot in the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale and a five-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hawaii. The 1991 Ryder Cup player won six times on the European Tour and also took the European Senior Tour's Scottish Senior Open.
Where does this victory rank?
"Bigger than all of them, I think — a lot, lot bigger," Broadhurst said. "I played some of my best golf this week. I really hit the ball nicely. My iron play today I thought was really good. I hit some top iron shots into 10 and 15. Yeah, the hard work I've put in paid off this week."
Broadhurst played his final 45 holes in 14 under after going 3 over on his first 27. His final 54-hole total in relation to par of 14 under matched Carl Mason and Bruce Summerhays — both in 2003 — for the lowest in the history of the event. Broadhurst's opening 75 was the highest start by a winner since Tom Watson also had a 75 in 2005.
Brandt Jobe (66) and Tom Byrum (72) were 7 under, and Joe Durant (73) and Wes Short Jr. (73) were another stroke back.