Every cloud has a silver lining? It did for Bernhard Langer even if said clouds at soggy Royal Lytham yesterday were so sodden they just about had rust forming round the edges.

At 61, the evergreen German won his fourth Senior Open title with a closing 66 which left him two shots clear of overnight leader Paul Broadhurst.

At 69, meanwhile, Tom Watson, with five Opens and three Senior Opens on his glittering resume, played his final competitive round on a links course in the UK. This master of seaside golf spent a career jousting and often beating Old Man Par. He can’t go on beating Auld Faither Time, though.

This was Watson’s swansong even if it was more a case of lovely weather for ducks. The desperate downpours in this neck of the woods put the entire final day in jeopardy and the logistical guddles eventually led to a two-tee start.

Watson, much to the chagrin of many drookit onlookers hoping for a nostalgic, handwaving, cap-doffing meander up the 18th, had to start on the 10th.

He did blow kisses to both sides of an adoring 18th when he arrived at it to conclude his outward half but he took his final bow at the farthest away point of the course on the par-three ninth. Lytham’s shortest hole would be the place where a chapter in a career of great longevity would end.

“The crowd that ended at the ninth hole went all the way out there to watch my final hole and that was very, very special,” said Watson, who signed off with a 73 for a nine-over aggregate at a championship in which he has never missed a cut in 18 appearances.

“I didn’t shed a tear. There will be other people who will take the reins and they will do what I did. Life is full of passages, and I’ve passed through my career, starting in 1975 (at Carnoustie) to here in 2019.

“It’s amazing. I look back at it, and I say, ‘man, that’s a lot of golf over a period of time’. It’s just a passage, and there will be others that will play great golf and excite the crowds.

“I hope that I’ve given a little bit back in the sense that I’ve played the game the way it should be played.”

As Watson waved goodbye, Langer eased to the 11th senior major win of an astonishing career that shows no sign of winding down.

While the third round frontrunner Broadhurst slipped to a one-over 71, Langer came marching to the front with a burst of six birdies in 14 holes, the last of which came via a putt of well over 60 feet and gave him a four shot lead with just four to play.

“The 14th was probably the highlight of the week,” he said of that raking putt. “It looked like it was already past the hole and I was turning around in disgust and disappointment, and then all of a sudden I hear cheering.

“I guess my vision isn’t good enough and it went in on the back door so that was a big surprise.”

Despite Mother Nature’s pesky meddling, nothing was going to dampen Langer’s victory parade and he could even afford the luxury of a couple of dropped shots coming home.

“There’s nobody in the game so far who has won more than nine senior majors and this is my 11th,” added Langer.

“It means a great deal to have done something that nobody else has done, not even the great Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player or Tom.”

With Broadhurst in second, senior tour rookie Retief Goosen shared third with Tim Petrovic on three-under.

Paul Lawrie, another new recruit to the over-50s scene, notched a top-20 finish on one-over. “There’s a pile of frustration, I holed nothing,” he said in a familiar lament.

Lawrie’s senior career is just starting. Langer’s is going on and on but for wily old Watson it was finally time to call it a day.