ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — As he approached the iconic Swilcan Bridge crossing St. Andrews' 18th hole, Tom Watson made a quick sidestep.
Walking to the side, he leaned down and planted a kiss on the old stones.
"It just seemed the right thing to do," said the five-time Open champion, who nearly made it six with his stirring run last year at Turnberry.
Watson has four years left on his exemption for last year's runner-up finish. But with the Open not coming back to St. Andrews until at least 2015, it could have been his final Open round on the Old Course.
And if you think the kiss and adulation from crowds lining the 18th fairway was moving, he almost topped it.
After bombing it as far as he could with his drive, Watson nearly pitched in for eagle, his ball resting near the lip.
"I pulled it just an inch," he quipped.
Cooling their jets: So what did players do to kill time waiting out a wind delay?
For Ian Poulter, it seemed a good time for afternoon tea.
"Having a nice pot of tea in the conservatory of the old course hotel," he Tweeted to followers during the suspension. "Lovely jubbly."
As the delay stretched on, Poulter added he'd ordered the hotel's tea cakes.
Bubba Watson opted for something more al fresco at one of the Old Course's best-known settings — the Road Hole 17th.
"No. 17 is a beautiful hole," Watson said. "My caddie and I just sat around, ate some food. We had a picnic out there."
Aged humor: Now that he has joined the Champions Tour, 1989 Open champion Mark Calcavecchia was asked if he felt "royal and ancient."
"Well, I've been feeling ancient and royal for a long time," he replied.
He also gets the first nomination as this year's Senior Sensation. After a 5-under-par 67 in Friday's opening group, he could sit back and climb the leaderboard when the weather turned blustery.
"It's a good spot to be," he said. "It doesn't really matter how old you are if you're feeling good about what you're doing."