Watson falls short at British Open - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Watson falls short at British Open

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) -- Tom Watson's valiant bid to become the oldest golfer to win a major title has left fellow competitors and all athletes in awe and wondering if age is a barrier to excellence any longer.

Mathew Goggin, 24 years younger than the 59-year-old Watson, says he believes Watson "can contend on these golf courses forever the way he strikes the ball."

Dara Torres, the 42-year-old Olympic swimmer who is preparing to compete at the world championship, says "as athletes, we're not putting an age limit on our dreams. I don't think it matters what age you are."

Some non-golfers agree. Nolan Ryan threw his sixth no-hitter at 32. Martina Navratilova was a month shy of 50 when she won the mixed doubles championship at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Just last weekend, 50-year-old Mark Martin won his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, more than any other driver.

And on Sunday, 81-year-old Hershel McGriff became the oldest driver to take part in a national NASCAR series race by qualifying for an event in Portland, Ore.

Said McGriff: "I haven't had anyone tell me that I'm crazy."

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