When asked about Tom Watson's chances of raising the Claret Jug at the 2009 British Open, Jack Nicklaus replied, "It is going to take constant concentration and discipline." The Golden Bear asserted, "whether or not Tom plays well tomorrow, whether or not he wins, it doesn't make a difference."
After watching Watson's head held high in spite of the occasional tear being wiped away by the fifty-nine year old legend, one can truly say that Nicklaus could not be further from the truth.
With an invitation to play St. Andrews in 2010, Tom will be sixty. This was his swan song. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Will Watson will be in the same condition and if so, will he even want to play in another Open? Tom mentioned that he isn't anxious to play in another Masters because he doesn't want to be the "memorial" player in the field, applauded by the crowd as the old guy on the tee. Can you blame him?
Although in five events on the Champions Tour, Watson has made every cut with one top-ten to his credit, the golfers playing in those events are also coming off of the PGA Tour at fifty, making it more of a struggle for Tom to stay competitive. The money isn't that great either, compared to the PGA Tour. Even though Watson is currently ranked in 47th place, his total 2009 earnings are a mere $183,000 to date. Ernie Els, who ranks 47th on the PGA Tour after playing in thirteen events has over $1 million. With his $700k second place winnings, Watson has been able to close the gap but perhaps this is a good time to write another book?
Hats off to Stewart Cink who came through with clutch play. As for Tiger Woods, he could still learn a few things about staying even from Tom Watson, whose gentlemanly demeanor totally collided with the thuds heard from Woods' clubhead as Tiger slowly but steadily fell to pieces.
Golf for Beginners also discusses Camilo Villegas' easy backhand move for straight contact.
Did you know that Amsterdam Hotels are just 221 miles away from London? After the British Open, take a whirlwind tour of the surrounding areas!
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