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Tom Watson And Tiger Woods: No Bromance Here

This will add to the team room fun should Tom Watson be named 2014 Ryder Cup Captain on Thursday, as Tim Rosaforte reports. Because, after all, Watson will likely helm a squad including Tiger Woods barring an unforseen, fall 2014 flare-up in his Achilles!

Just a reminder of the nice bond these two share:

February, 2010, Watson on Woods:

“I feel that he has not carried the same stature that other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), Arnold (Palmer), Byron Nelson, the Hogans, in the sense that there was language and club throwing on the golf course,” said Watson, a playoff loser to Stewart Cink at last year’s British Open.

 “You can grant that of a young person that has not been out here for a while. But I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that other people before him have shown.”

At the 2010 U.S. Open when they shared the tenth tee together. Karen Crouse wrote:

As they waited to hit, neither Watson nor Woods exchanged glances, much less niceties, their cold shoulders turning the tee into an outdoor icebox. The distance between them was accentuated when the golfer Jason Gore made his way to the hole and received a warm hello and a hug from Woods who, like Watson, has won a United States Open here.

Standing between Woods and Watson like a buffer was another Stanford golfer, Joseph Bramlett, who was playing with his childhood idol, Woods, two days after going through graduation ceremonies. It was three generations of Cardinal golfing royalty sharing a moment that could have been captured only by the widest of wide-angle lenses.

July, 2010, Watson:

“His life is a lot more complicated now. He doesn’t hear
 that absolute silence when he’s playing, and he mentioned when 
he’s playing his best he hears nothing,” the American 
eight-times major winner told a news conference on Wednesday. “I’m sure there are things going on in his mind that make it 
very difficult for him.”

Yet it was Tiger who was the gentleman at the 2010 Open Championship, waving Watson's group up so that the legend could finish Friday evening in the late light.

This AP image by Alistair Grant is the only photo I can find of the two sharing the same general vicinity.

There's also the video where Watson's disdain for his fellow Stanford alum comes shining through.


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Reader Comments (35)

All the more reason to name him Captain. I noted earlier: "the captain's true role is to get the PGA of America on the front page of the sports page as often as possible", which helps drive ratings. Geoff has already done the research, above, for the story that 85% of golf writers will write sometime between Captaincy naming and playing of the RC. Editors will like the story and put it on the front page of the sports page.

Drama sells. What could be more dramatic than Watson being put in a position to consider Woods as a Captain;'s pick?
If Woods has a brain (and I know he does), he'll know that Watson is correct in his assessments. That could be one thing the PGA was looking for - a captain who certainly won't pamper Tiger.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
I witnessed first hand how little they both care for the other. In Philly at Applebrook there was a NGS (*wounded warrior) event host by Feherty, Watson and a couple other PGAers. We got to caddie for the soldiers and the rumor was Woods would be showing up - note this was the week of TW's PGA event (moved from Congo) and one of his first public appearences since Elin took him out with a 9 iron. Watson and the other pro's had been playing holes with the soldiers, doing lessions on the practice tee and alike - basically there all day and really into it. After the round everyone heads to the deck of Applebrook for drinks and food. The pro's and Watson are allowing pictures and shaking hands and being extremely personal. TW shows up during this and the soldiers crowd him off to the side. Feherty sits him down and awards him something - a token related to all his work with soldiers. Meanwhile Tom Watson is still up on the deck, now sitting by himself. That was awkward enough and you could tell he had no interest in walking down to say hello to Tiger. Feherty is making a speech thanking Tiger and recalls Watson is there. He asks him to come down (30 feet away) to sit with Tiger and say something. Tom speaks about the day, our solders, what it means to play golf with these guys and girls, etc. Very well spoken 10 minute speech. TW, who has been sitting there looking akward gets the mic and talks for about 30 seonds, not really saying anything, just a thank you and that he has to get back to his tournament. It was startling the difference between the two men. There was no media, no press, just 20 wounder warriors and about 20 volunteers. It didnt make sense at all that Tiger wouldnt havent been more gregarious, forthcoming or at least made an attempt to speak out like Watson did, from his heart. The difference between the two men had never been more apparent. The soldiers didnt really mind but you could tell by some of the expressions and head shaking that they didnt quite get it. I watched TW the entire time and except for when they shook hands, he didnt look at Watson. Its hard to forget Tom sitting at his table by himself while Tiger is sourrounded by people and the lack of anything between them, two greats of the game. No love lost in my opinion and make me have a different outlook on Tiger and his relationships with the big 4.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBogeyfree66
Would there be anything funnier than David Toms now being announced as captain?!
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStord
@Stord. Yes - Fred Couples.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Watson is the perfect captain to shock Tiger out of his Ryder Cup coma. I think this will be a good thing for Tiger, and I believe Tiger will respond with some checks in the win column.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Hasn't Tom, my cousin, burnt a lot of bridges along the way. Well, perhaps not that but rubbed people the wrong way a bit? I mean family getogethers aren't quite the same since he is on the wagon but that's for another site...
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeeWatson
If Watson is chosen, both Watson and Woods will publicly say how much they are looking forward to joining forces. Then they will say they had a one on one clearing of the air. Then after the Ryder Cup they will go on being distant.
They will not submit to the media's desire for controversy.
Tiger does have a long memory about things said about him. Watson is not without his failings.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn S.
If the antipathy is real and Watson is named RC captain, the only way Tiger can stick it to him (assuming he qualifies) is to lose - of course he has a remarkable RC record in that regard so it would be tough to tell if sticking it to Watson is the intent. If he no shows, he is doing Watson a favor. Advantage Watson.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Watson disapproves of Tiger, Tiger is not a fan of random others telling him how to behave. You hope that they will both be professionals and more interested in winning the RC then continuing their feud that week.

I'm sure that Watson won't "pander" to anyone (not sure how Tiger was pandered to, but whatever). Whether an autocratic style is best is a debatable point. The US team did lead this yr by 4 points going into Sunday. Hard to fault there performance as a team.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElf belong in the media. you'd be great at coming up with conspiracy theories, stirring up drama where none was present, creating stories our of thin air, creating tension between players. Tiger and Watson aren't the best of friends, and now if Watson is named captain we'll get an overdose of media attention to that fact. nothing like making the Ryder Cup about one person.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
as previous ryder cup captains have sed, their role is to get out of the way and allow the team to do what it does best

to this point, watson no longer has the capability to properly execute as a captain for the team, his presence will be detrimental to the team vibe...which is critical in golf...

i often wondered what watson's goal was during that time, offering his opinion on tiger

great thing is, tom has continued in fine form recently with his comments about the olympics and other topics not at all concerning him...kind of reminds me of greg norman's behavior....

both watson and norman need to leave us with their amazing golf achievements to remember them by...not this kind ancillary noise tainting their images

i lol @ watson and norman...
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
Elf says she's not sure how Tiger was pandered too? DLIII pandered to Tiger by allowing him to play with his man servant Steve Stricker in every pairs match he played.

Tiger and Stricker stank at the 2011 Presidents Cup together and then lost the first two matches at Medinah and then still got paired on Saturday afternoon? THAT's pandering.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
I didn't mind Watson speaking his mind on Woods, but for someone who has burned a few bridges himself I thought he could have been a little more helpful and a little less judgey. I am not sure what he gained by being so steadfastly high and mighty.

This gets back to my comments on an earlier post about Watson having a very tight-assed side to him.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTighthead
I'm all for giving the older, wised-up players a chance at being captain. (Anybody have Larry Nelson's number? He should at least be named an assistant.) But how good a leader of men would Tom Watson be?

I used to admire him so much. But in the last two decades he's become annoyingly pompous. Maybe his downfall started when he went snitching to teacher about Gary McCord's innocent "bikini wax" joke. And I certainly don't want to hear him lecturing Tiger about morals, not after the way Watson stole Denis Watson's wife Hilary away.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHod
@ LeeWatson,

You ever go hunting morning doves with your cousin?
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBaited Field
Naming Larry Nelson as an assistant would be a frickin' insult.

He SHOULD be Captain.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
So Watson and Tiger don't like each other, big deal. Both have had their share of off-course issues that would be regurgiatated time and again by blogs and media. Analysis entertainment for two years. I expect that Tiger has somewhat gotten used to the adverse attention. I hope Tom can handle the adverse attention into his background as opposed to the current warm narrative.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
@Hod - I don't ever recall Watson lecturing Woods on morals.

I do recall Watson lecturing Woods about on-course behavior (club throwing, hocking fat loogies on the green, f-bombing, gd-bombing). That's different.

I don't think Watson really cares if Woods banged 100+ pornstars, pancake waitresses, next door neighbor daughters, escorts, LV event planners/hostesses. I have never heard a peep from Watson about morals.
Talking from a high horse with mud on the hooves from the low roads
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPat Burke
Say, "Ump," how much time do you save by not typing those time-consuming caps and periods? :-)

As for W. vs. W. let's set the stage: one is an arrogant, pampered talent who quickly came to believe that he was bigger than the game while the other is a pompous, by-the-book traditionalist who can quickly forget that his personal flaws are easily ignored. Having said that, Woody must have been simply STUNNED that a modern-day icon actually once had the temerity to actually call him out, opportunities conveniently avoided by Nicklaus and Palmer. Of course, none of Woods' playing contemporaries would offer the same criticism because they might one day have to be paired with him but the now-on-the-sidelines Watson had the convenience of distance that allowed him to simply say what virtually every real golfer was thinking: "Hey, Woods, we know you can play but isn't it time you showed some Respect For The Game?"

As a poster stated earlier, Tom and Tiger will soon issue assurances that they Get Along Just Fine but at some point the old stories will again ramp up: Will Watson have the guts to sit Tiger? Will Watson pick Tiger if he doesn't make it on points? Will Watson tell Tiger who he's playing with? Will Watson and Woods come to blows after a disputed point in Ping Pong?

As for me, the hype about the Ryder Cup is waaaay overblown so will somebody please just wake me on September 26, 2014?
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Smacking - is Watson indeed commenting on Woods morals in the first part of that video??
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
@sgolfer that's how Love treated every member of the team. They all got to choose partners, they all played both days, they all kept the same partner. That's not pandering to Tiger, it's treating him like everyone else.

When Couples asked Tiger to partner with DJ, he partnered with DJ
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElf
Golf is the ultimate equalizer. If Tiger plays great, qualifies #1 for the RC team, and wins his points then all the WatsonvsWoods stuff is moot.

Personally, I don't see the big deal of being captain with the current system. You want to make the role of captain more significant than being a glorified chaperone/fashion-stylist? Then let him pick his entire team for better or for worse.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
BTW if Justin Rose doesn't hole a 35ft putt, we're having a totally different discussion. @johnnycz is right, captains don't matter nearly as much as we're pretending they do right now
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Nice try Elf, but the other pairs of players did not have the gawd awful losing streak of the Woods/Stricker combo (extending back to their 7&6 blowout loss to Baddeley and Day of all people). At some point DLIII should have said "tough sh*t Tiger, you're not playing with him this afternoon." Not to have done that is pandering.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
@sgolfer check your facts 7&6 to Badelly and Day never happened. (and in order to break up Tiger and Stricker he would have had to break up another pairing as well). But again, this was Davis' strategy to have a pair, you can agree or disagree with the strategy. But again, since he did the same thing with everyone, it's not pandering.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
@Elf !! What kind of fantasy land do Woody Slurpers live in?!?

To refresh you memory regarding the Baddely/Day Smackdown of Woods/Stricker in one of the worst losses in Presidents Cup History ...

Consider my facts: Checked.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
@sgolfer hahahaha did you read the article you just referenced?
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterElf
@Sg bc this is stupid and I'm being pedantic anyways: they lost 7&6 to Scott and Choi, not Baddely and Day (but seriously please work on reading comprehension).

But really it doesn't matter, like it or not Tiger (and Stricker) were treated exactly the same as everyone else: they were asked who they wanted to play with, partnered together, and not deviated from. To break them up may have been smart, but it would also have been treating them differently. It's not pandering (except maybe on a team wide level), it was just his strategy.

But again, if Rose doesn't hole a 35ft putt in a singles match, we're not even talking about this. The US was up 10-6 after the team portion.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf

That's pretty funny!
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
After 12 rounds i give this fight to ...... ELF!

everyone loves to second guess after the fact. if tiger loses after being paired with someone else there would be the same people moaning. Maybe Tiger was fine with playing with whoever and it was Love's decision to put him with Stricker. Is that pandering? Elf is right, if a one of the multiple miracle putts don't drop no one really cares and pandering isn't a issue.
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

this is a punkuation spelling and grammar optional site
12.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Golfer
But.... ''Morning Doves'''...really?
12.12.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Do as I say not as I do, media loves to sell stories because that is there business. Tiger and Tom are both professionals that golf needs to be successful. Both have personal stories and that is their business. They both have blemishes for sure. Anyone on that stage will, for that matter very few on the public stage don't. The tragedy here is the effect on their families and am sure that weighs heavily on both there minds. Go TW and TW
07.4.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

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