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Watson became only the fourth lefty to capture a major with his stirring playoff win at Augusta National in April, joining Charles, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir.

Charles remains the only lefty to win the British Open, which Watson quickly noted when a reporter asked if the course sets up better for a left-hander that it does for a majority of the players hitting from the opposite side.

“How many times has a lefty won here? Once?” Watson asked. “Obviously not as well as (it does for) a right-hander.”


ALLENBY SURPRISE: Robert Allenby was walking up the 15th fairway during a practice round when a television producer looked over and said, “How did he get in the field?” There was a time not even Allenby knew the answer.

He has slipped well beyond the top 50 in the world. He didn’t finish among the top 10 a year ago in the British Open.

So in early May, he called his agent and asked him the dates of the International Final Qualifying for America, typically held in the Dallas area. His agent replied, “I’ve just finished renting you a house for the British Open.”

Allenby qualified as a player from the most recent Presidents Cup team. He wasn’t alone. Retief Goosen, Ryo Ishikawa and K.T. Kim also qualified as Presidents Cup team members.

“I just thought I missed out on another one,” Allenby said.

Allenby did not qualify for the Masters or U.S. Open this year, though he has not missed the British Open since 1999 when it was at Carnoustie.

It’s unusual to have four players qualifying only through the last Cup team (next year it will be the Ryder Cup players who get in) because usually they already are in the top 50 in the world. That’s one reason the field was over the 156-man limit.

It’s not a problem for this major. With an extra player, it simply created an extra tee time. Allenby didn’t know this when told about the overbooked field.

“They’re not going to tell me to go home, are they?” he said.


AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.