Jimenez in charge as wily Watson rolls back the years

FIVE-TIME champion Tom Watson rolled back the years with an scintillating opening round 65 to take him to within a shot off the overnight night in the Open Championship.<br /><br />Just two months short of his 60th birthday, the American renewed his love affair with the Turnberry course with five birdies in a bogey-free round to leave him a shot adrift of leader Miguel-Angel Jimenez, of Spain.<br /><br />Watson famously won the 1977 Open on this course when he overcame Jack Nicklaus in the &ldquo;Duel in the Sun&rdquo;&ndash; the third of his eight Major titles in eight years. But even competing on an even keel with the world&rsquo;s best is a tremendous feat for Watson, who underwent hip replacement surgery last October, culminating in a disastrous 83 in his last round in a Major, at The Masters in April.<br /><br />But despite his problems, Watson insists his stunning round came as no surprise to him, citing a new lease of life and given the benign early conditions on the glorious Ayrshire links.<br /><br />&ldquo;I feel that I&rsquo;m playing well enough to win. I feel inspired playing here,&rdquo; Watson said. &ldquo;It was not much of a surprise for me to go out there and get under par. Playing the practice rounds I felt very good about the way I was hitting the ball and the way I was putting. She Turnberry was defenceless today. Obviously the golf course played with no wind and it was an easy test, if you have an easy test in the Open Championship.&rdquo;<br /><br />Watson stands in the remarkable position of leading world No1 Tiger Woods by six clear shots after the 14-time Major winner struggled to a one-over-par 71. Below-par throughout, Woods found himself in black figures after a dropped shot on 15 was followed with a visit to Wilson&rsquo;s Burn the next hole. &ldquo;I certainly made a few mistakes out there today,&rdquo; he admitted.<br /><br />&ldquo;Realistically I probably should have shot about one or two under par. Hopefully tomorrow I can play a little better, clean it up and put myself headed in the right direction.&rdquo;<br /><br />Watson shares second place with 2003 Open champion Ben Curtis and Japan&rsquo;s Kenichi Kuboya with five players a further shot adrift on four-under. <br />Defending champion Padraig Harrington remains in contention with a one-under-par 69, although the runner-up at Birkdale 12 months ago, Ian Poulter, slumped to a disappointing five-over-par 75.<br /><br />English quartet Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Anthony Wall and David Howell are also in the frame after 68&rsquo;s.<br /><strong><br />OPEN 2009 </strong> LEADERBOARD<br />-6&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; M-A Jimenez (Spa)<br />-5&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; T Watson (US) <br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; B Curtis (US)<br />-4&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; J Senden (Aus) <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; S Stricker (US)<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; C Villegas (Col) <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; S Cink (US)<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; M Goggin (Aus)