U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Broadhurst Still Basking In Major Moment
August 8, 2016 | Columbus, Ohio
By Dave Shedloski
Fifteen days removed from the biggest victory of his career, Paul Broadhurst is still in a state of amazement. Maybe it’s more like shock.
“It’s the most massive thing I’ve ever done in golf,” said the Englishman, who shot a bogey-free, final-round 68 at Carnoustie, in Scotland, to win The Senior Open Championship. “I’d won some European events, but they don’t come close. To win the Senior Open, it means the world. I still have trouble believing it happened.”
Broadhurst, who turns 51 on Sunday, has a lot of reasons to enjoy his breakthrough, and one of them is the chance to compete this week in the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club. Broadhurst was not in the field until he triumphed by two strokes over American Scott McCarron on July 24.
Winner of six titles on the PGA European Tour, the last in 2006 when he successfully defended his title in the Portuguese Open, Broadhurst had been pointing toward this stage of his career for some time. After a pronounced slump and having to battle through a series of injuries, he began rededicating himself three years ago. One of his best decisions was hooking up with swing instructor Tim Rouse, who is based in central England. Broadhurst had known Rouse for 30 years, and he was looking for new ideas, he said, after fiddling with his game on his own without much success.
The result of their collaboration is a swing that is much more efficient and consistent.
“After talking to him, I liked what I heard, and he really has made a difference,” Broadhurst said. “My game wasn’t great for a while. But to come out of the blocks the way I did … it’s been pretty remarkable.”
Broadhurst is used to getting out of the gates quickly. He was the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year on the European Tour in 1989. But whether his form can continue in the U.S. is a question mark.
He has played sparingly in America, competing in just one U.S. Open, at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., in 1997, and two PGA Championships. He never played in the Masters. At Congressional he tied for 52nd on a layout he called “the hardest course I ever saw.”
Of course, he had yet to play a practice round between the rough edges of a strong Scioto layout.
And there will be more to come on this side of the Atlantic. His win at Carnoustie exempts him on the PGA Tour Champions for the remainder of the 2016 schedule, and he plans to play in as many events as possible, even as he keeps his home base in England.
“It’s quite a great opportunity, and the schedule works out pretty well from a travel standpoint,” Broadhurst said.
His immediate goal is simple. He’s looking for an encore to his first senior major title.
“I don’t think I could top that. But I guess winning here is the next big thing,” he said with a smile. “But I realize that golf can bite you back, too. So I’m just taking it all one day at a time.”
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.