Old-timers take center stage at Muirfield 

GULLANE, Scotland — They lined up four rows deep, craning their necks for a glimpse of Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Fred Couples walking onto the first tee at the British Open.

Turns out a few other older players grabbed the attention Thursday at Muirfield.

By the time Faldo, Watson and Couples trudged off the 18th green with a combined score of 16-over par, Todd Hamilton was already in the clubhouse with a 2-under 69. Then came Mark O'Meara, who wound up a shot off the lead with a 67. Tom Lehman chipped in with a 68.

All former Open champions. All with plenty of links knowledge and experience.

"One for the old farts," O'Meara said.

With 49-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez also shooting a 68, the leaderboard was starting to have the look of a senior's competition.

Darren Clarke in 2011 and Ernie Els last year showed that age should be no barrier at the Open. Both were 42 when they lifted the claret jug. O'Meara, Lehman and Hamilton are taking it to a whole new level, though, as they seek a second title on the British links.

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