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Friday
Jul042014

Tom Watson (64) Makes Greenbrier Cut, Again

Jason Sobel with the details and various Sam Snead records within reach should 64-year-old Tom Watson move up the leaderboard this weekend at the Greenbrier Classic.

This is pretty amazing for both men...

At 64 years and 10 months exactly, Watson is still more than two years younger than Snead when he set the record for oldest player to make the cut at a PGA tour event. Snead was 67 years, 2 months and 21 days when he played all four rounds at the 1979 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic.

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Reader Comments (33)

Watson just plain knows how to golf his ball.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
I really really REALLY wish he had won that 2009 Open Championship. I'm still sad over that one....
I remember his par putt on the 7 2nd hole as perhaps the worst putt in major championship history.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrogman
We don't hear many comments on what great physical shape he has kept himself in. He has maintained his suppleness and the width in his back swing. I am not sure we give Tom Watson enough kudos for his ball striking, especially his iron play. He hits a "heavy" ball that seems to just soar -- especially for his age. Few players, talking about great players, can play this well so late in their career. Wishing him well over the weekend with the "kids".

@ NY&G I have to turn the TV off or switch the Channel when they show the replay of the '09 Open at Turnberry. I can watch it up until he plays his second shot into #18 on the final day. After that, I would rather turn the channel watch NASCAR or Seinfeld! He did everything correct that week. Sadly, it was not to be.
Pro-- agree completely. I'm one to always watch In Play w jimmy Roberts or a youtube replay of majors. But I can't bring myself to watch either of those when they involve the 2009 open. Just too sad. It's the closest I've ever come to crying when watching a sporting event.

I once read Hank Haney say that he thinks Watson fired at the pin on 18 because he didn't want a long lag putt (for fear of 3 putting; apparently tiger also started doing this at some point under haneys watch). Then I've heard andy north say that Watson just nuked it and flew the green. I'd love to know what the thought process was there and what actually happened.
IIRC he hit an 8-iron that landed on the front half of the green and then imitated the Energizer Bunny. A 9-iron would have been short. The subsequent chip was average. I refuse to think about the putt. What putt? Who won, btw? Just kidding on the latter. But what ever happened to him?
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
I think he got a bad bounce - other balls landed there and worked out perfectly.

As for worst putt (late) in majors, I think the putt that kept Cink out of the 2001 U.S. Open playoff needs to be considered.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
He got a shocking boubce on a downslope. 6 inches in any other direction he would have won. Worst feeling IVE ever had watching golf.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Three really bad putts on the 72nd hole of a major to lose:

Doug Sanders' 2 1/2 footer at British Open -- needs no further details or description.

Davis Love's 3-putt on the 18th hole that would have gotten him in a playoff for the U.S. Open.

Hubert Green's 3-footer at the Masters giving Player the outright win.
Then there was the 73rd hole of the 1989 Masters...Ouch! That one left a mark.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Pro, we must be on the same wave length, was just about to list all three of those as well. Speaking of Sanders' putt, heard an interview a few months ago where he said he thinks about it everyday of his life. The jab he put on that thing was unreal. By the way, the interview was classic with his rat-pack connections. I've chatted with Sanders' PR guy and he said Doug's wife was a saint to put up with his wild ways.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Pro-

Man , I rarely disagree with you, but I believe that a review of media would show a GREAT deal of bravado given TW's great iron play, some TV guys even saying it is as good or even better (NIMHO) than ever.

He went thru the ram it in the hole blues; where the comebackers don't go in like they used to- and my bud PM is in that funk right now---a case made for the Harvey P method of dying it in the hole netting more holed putts than the ''18 inches past'' approach, as that 18 can become 4 feet and a miss, instead of a 6 inch tap in far too often.

I am not a Watson fan, but I love to watch him hit irons, and I rooted my butt off that day when he wished the 72nd par putt in, instead of playing golf.

Cink maybe a nice person to be around; he certainly seems so, and in Houston, he chatted with the fans after his round, and did not blow off anyone- made eye contact and I was impressed- HOWEVER, hearing about him hidng in the toilet and icing TW for 20 minutes before the Open playoff just infuriated me- far more tacky than the change rattle BS of others, and piled on a dislike ever since he ''legally cheated'' his lie in the ''it was a bunker the next year'' waste area.

The only story that could ever top TW having won the Open would be Erik Compton winning, and I think even Tom would pull for that one.

Have a great weekend.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I remember the putting messes on the 72nd hole at Southern Hills in 2001. Brooks, Goosen, Cink. Not on par with Watson's or Sanders, though.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
Digs I merely was stating that Watson always drew rave reviews on his short game and deft putting touch for so many years that his ball-striking didn't get the respect that perhaps it deserved.

I think today he may be getting the respect he deserves for an area of his game that was oft times overlooked. I think some of the TV / media types today are giving him more credit than in previous times.

Happy belated 4th Digs. Hope you hit the links over the weekend.


@KLG +1 on "Ouch"

None of us mentioned Snead's blunder on the 18-hole of the 1947 U.S. Open to lose the championship to Lew Worsham. It was reported that the putt measured 30.5". Crazy how things work out....Snead had made an 18-footer on the previous day to tie Worsham on the 72nd hole -- but couldn't nail the 2 /12 footer in the playoff.
Thanks to all who pointed out some of the really terrible putts. The footage of Doug sanders wiping it from three feet is chilling.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrogman
Toms putting really cost him in the Masters that Woosnam won...he should have won that by 5 strokes.
Chico is right about the approach shooting forward on a tiny downslope on the green, hurt that he hit it so high...Watson's caddies Neil Oxman confirmed it.
Also agree that he didn't want to risk a 60 footer with a 9 iron.
Doug Sanders had the biggest gag in a major...ironically after an all world sand save on the Road hole.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
I still don't quite understand why Watson, needing par to win, didn't play right of the bunker and run it in to the middle of the green, instead of choosing to fly it onto the green. I'm sure he could have lagged it up no problem with his first putt, but instead was faced with that putt from off the green. Maybe he was thinking of that great 7 iron to the same green in '77. One of the most deflating moments I have ever seen in golf.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Speaking of short missed putts. What about the Joe (hat) Daley putt at PGA Tour Q-school? He made the putt, it just didn't stay in the hole. I don't think that guy is right to this day from that freaky incident which cost him a spot on the big tour.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Daley's pop out, and Mike Donald losing to Hale ''special invite'' Irwin are the 2 biggest travesties that I know of in golf.

Daley should have been given the putt- there was obviously some sort of mechanical problem that went beyond ''rub of the green. But ''fair'', and especially ''commn sense'' arenot part of the PGAT.

If Irwin got an invite, then why didn;t Tom Kite to the Open at PB, after he won, arguably , the most difficult open ever played. No favoratism at the USGA.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Easingwold, Watson was playing so beautifully coming in. He'd just birdied 17, the drive on 18 was great. He was on go. I think he hit a measured, well considered approach given how well he was playing. Ach!, I hate even thinking about the way it shook out.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
eas....

I think dbh nailed it. His moment of weakness came in that last stroke, showing, I guess, that even the best have those ''sinking feelings'' sometimes when just another minute of confidence wold have sealed the deal.

And Chico...I didn't follow it as much back then, and I didn't realze he was shown more for his short game than his iron play. Mostly I read about how hisputting was awesome before it got shaky- the TV folks railed on that over and over as I started watching in the md-late 80's.

Funny, he and I are the same age, but i think of his as much older than me. guess he doesn't listen to Iggy Azalia.

As to the earlier question about who is paying for the exporatory run...t would have to be the association, not TW or the players. I'm guessing he is trying to coordinate it with peole being in Europe for the Open already. Any word over there?
07.5.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Dbh, digs,

I agree Watson was playing wonderful coming down the last. I just get the feeling Nicklaus in the same situation, would have played away from the bunker and settled for the middle of the green.
07.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
/09 was heartbreaking. On a Golf Channel special instructional show with Martin Hall, Watson said that was his most disappointing putt ever. He mentioned, as Chico said, that his approach hit a downslope and scooted. As for the winning putt, Watson claims that all week long he had kept one thought in mind while putting. His father had told him when he was young to accelerate through a putt, every putt. He'd been doing it all week long. But for some reason on the 72nd, he didn't. Age, nerves, whatever...he still handled the loss with class.

@digs, that's the first I've heard of the Cink story and the 20 min toilet break. Makes Watson's breakdowns in the 4 hole playoff more understandable. At 59 and losing the adrenalin edge, damn, no wonder his legs were gone.
07.6.2014 | Unregistered Commentermeefer
klg+1 is exactly right the media is finally giving Tommy his due. In his late thirties or early forties he mmight be in second place at t he masters on a Friday and they might show every third shot of his, meanwhile Norman who is 6 strokes behind Tommy has all his shots shown. would also tell you that the course tommy grew up on has huge trees on it and is surrounded by buildings for miles, point being when it's windy in KC it nisn't that windy at his course. The reason he is such a great bad weather player is because he hits it so solid. remember aiming 20 feet left in a 20 mile an hour wind with an 8 iron and puring it only to see it end up 20 feet left of the hole. wind doesn't affect solid shots much. I played with him about 15 times as a kid-HUGE FAN
07.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjack
Chico is right, great shot well short of the hole, terrible bounce. Got the think he thought tournament was his when the ball was in the air.

I got to see a lot of Snead up close in early 1970's, amazing athlete. Caddied in his group twice, he was a ballstriking machine, not very good with the side saddle stroke though.
07.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNo Longer
as usual I got up early on Sunday for the final round of the"OPEN". 7 hours later I was still in my pajamas. what a cruel ending. I know he was very disappointed but I think and am glad that the outpouring of sentiment that followed softened the blow for him. the next day I listened to a talk show on the radio for 5 minutes. a guy called in and said his mother hadn't watched a golf tournament in 25 years but she watched all of this one. snother guy called in and said he went to the office the next morning and the whole office was talking about it and nothing else- he said none of them even played golf!
07.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjack
Dover pro - my hickory mate from Deal??? 2009 at Turnberry was so sad, it would have been one of golf's greatest moments. It is worth noting that Tom Watson did have a friend caddying for him and not a professional looper, so it is arguable that a Tour caddy might have been better suited to advise at such a critical moment as the second into 18. Also, I believe I am correct in saying, he was using an NXT Tour ball, so inconsistent spin and bounces on links greens can happen.
07.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLondo_golf_pro
Tom Watson is now just ten spots behind Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup. ;)

As for ´09, he couldn't and shouldn't have played his second shot into 18 any differently. He caught a small downslope, simple as that. There was no room to the right to bail out, and a nine-iron might have have stopped well short of the green. The right shot, but a horrible break. But somewhere in a parallel universe in which his ball pitched 18 inches shorter, people are dissing golf because a 59-year-old won the sport's grandest championship.
07.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Legend!!! An ornament to the game! The thing about Tom Watson is that he is so much more than a great of the game. He just comes across as a great man first and foremost. Few show as much respect to the game and its history as much as Tom Watson. To my mind if there is one player that I would like my boy to model himself on it is him.
07.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAhmed
ahmed I agree. on top of that I'd rather watch him swing than anybody else. I've seen him lose his balance once in 40 + years of watching him on tv. ironically it was an eight iron at castle rock maybe 20 years ago.
07.7.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjack
@ Londo_golf-pro

Sorry, not from Kent. But would welcome an invite as your hickory partner nonetheless! Stateside residence in Pinehurst. Not a bad alternative from Royal Cinque Ports however.

Have clubs, will travel!
This to is the first time I hear about Cink and a 20 minute "hold-up". Is there somewhere this was written about? Maybe my search terms are wrong, but google is not really giving much.
07.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
Who was the lady who missed a one foot-yes, one- foot putt on the last at the Dinah shore a few years ago on the last and then lost a playoff?
07.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterChicago pt

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