Tom Watson
Professional golfer
Tom Watson
Thomas Sturges Watson is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and now plays mostly on the Champions Tour. In the 1970s and 1980s, Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. He was the number one player in the world according to McCormack's World Golf Rankings from 1978 until 1982; in both 1983 and 1984, he was ranked second behind Seve Ballesteros.
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Watson misses cut, calls it a day
Yahoo News - 11 months
Tom Watson drew down the curtain on one of the greatest careers in golfing history at Augusta National when his bid at 66 to become the oldest player to make the cut in the Masters fell short. Watson got off to a bogey start after a weak opening drive and when he did more damage to his hopes at the fourth and fifth, the end was in sight. Watson, whose two Masters wins came in 1977 and 1981, said that the only regrets he had over his long career was not winning a few more majors.
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Yahoo News article
Golf-Player ace lights up Par-3 contest as Walker triumphs
Yahoo News - 11 months
By Tim Wharnsby AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 6 (Reuters) - Gary Player kicked his right leg into the air, hugged his granddaughter Alex and grandson Paul and received congratulations from playing competitors Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. No, this was not the 1978 Masters, when Player won his third and final Green Jacket with a one-shot victory over Watson and was four better than Nicklaus. "That's number 31," as in career hole-in-ones, a delighted Player told Watson as they walked off the tee.
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Yahoo News article
Golf-Watson to exit Masters with tradition of his own
Yahoo News - 11 months
By Steve Keating AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 5 (Reuters) - The Masters will say goodbye to another former champion this week when Tom Watson makes a final trek up the 18th fairway, but not before he marks the occasion by leaving one last egg salad sandwich by the 13th tee. From the Green Jacket to the Champions Dinner, the Masters is rich in tradition but none is more touching than Watson's tribute to longtime caddie Bruce Edwards, who finally succumbed to Lou Gehrig's disease on the eve of the 2004 Masters. While on Watson's bag, Edwards would eat an egg sandwich on the 13th tee at Augusta National during the opening round of each Masters, and ever since the eight-time major winner has left a sandwich there in memory of his departed friend.
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Yahoo News article
African-American golf pioneer Peete dies at 71
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
(Reuters) - Calvin Peete, the most successful African-American professional golfer on the PGA Tour prior to Tiger Woods, has died at 71 in Atlanta on Wednesday, the PGA Tour said. The straight-hitting Peete, who overcame physical hardship as a youngster and took up golf at the advanced age of 24, won 12 PGA Tour events, 11 of them claimed between 1982 and 1986. His four victories matched Craig Stadler and Tom Watson for most on the tour that year. He was the fourth African-American to win on the PGA Tour, joining Pete Brown, Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder.
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Yahoo News article
Trump's Turnberry to undergo major changes for future Opens
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
By Andrew Both TURNBERRY, Scotland (Reuters) - The Ailsa course at Turnberry, which has hosted four British Opens, will undergo major changes when it closes at the end of September. The magnificent views over the Firth of Clyde will look the same, but the course will be radically different, with all but a handful of holes altered when it reopens next summer. The changes were revealed on Tuesday at a news conference at Trump Turnberry hosted by course owner Donald Trump’s son, Eric. Turnberry has a small but storied history as an Open venue, fist hosting the famous “Duel in the Sun” in which Tom Watson beat fellow American Jack Nicklaus in 1977.
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Yahoo News article
Watson and Faldo to play final British Open at St Andrews
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
Golfing greats Tom Watson and Nick Faldo are both set to make their final British Open appearance at this year's edition of the sport's oldest major at St Andrews, it was announced Monday. Watson, a five-times British Open champion who came within a whisker of winning a sixth title at the age of 59 in 2009 before losing a play-off at Turnberry, has been granted a special exemption from organisers the Royal and Ancient to play in this year's edition of a tournament first staged in 1860. The American's appearance at the 'home of golf' in July come 40 years after he won his first British Open title at Carnoustie, another Scottish course. For Faldo, Britain's most successful golfer with six major titles to his name, the 2015 British Open also signals an anniversary as it will be 25 years since he won the second of his three Open titles on the celebrated Old Course at St Andrews, the R&A's base.
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Yahoo News article
Watson breaks own record as oldest player to make Open cut
Yahoo News - over 2 years
By Tony Jimenez HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - The superlatives used to describe the remarkable career of Tom Watson were exhausted long ago but the 64-year-old continues to defy the ageing process, as he proved again at the British Open on Friday. While top-notch players half his age were falling by the wayside and missing the cut, the eight-times major winner sailed through to the weekend at Royal Liverpool after delivering his second one-over 73 of the championship. Watson needed a par-five at the last hole to confirm his place in Saturday's third round and he decided on a conservative approach. "I played old man's golf," he told reporters after finishing on two-over 146, the same mark as Tiger Woods.
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Yahoo News article
PGA Championship Caters To 1st-Time Major Winners
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — If you're a golfer chasing that first major title, you've come to the right place. The list of winners at the PGA Championship is filled with guys who were once in your spiked shoes. From Keegan Bradley to Shaun Micheel, there's something about the year's final major that seems to bring out the best in those seeking one of those career-defining victories. "You win one," said Tiger Woods, who's got 14, "you're part of history." The final major championship of the year began Thursday morning at soggy Oak Hill, which received about a quarter-inch of rain overnight. The clouds broke and the sun was out for the opening tee shot by Rob Labritz, one of 20 club pros in the 156-player field. Not surprisingly, there's been plenty of speculation this week about who might break through at this venerable course just outside of Rochester. Dustin Johnson certainly has the ga ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Old-timers Take Center Stage At Muirfield
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
GULLANE, Scotland -- They lined up four rows deep, craning their necks for a glimpse of Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Fred Couples walking onto the first tee at the British Open. Turns out a few other older players grabbed the attention Thursday at Muirfield. By the time Faldo, Watson and Couples trudged off the 18th green with a combined score of 16-over par, Todd Hamilton was already in the clubhouse with a 2-under 69. Then came Mark O'Meara, who wound up a shot off the lead with a 67. Tom Lehman chipped in with a 68. All former Open champions. All with plenty of links knowledge and experience. "One for the old farts," O'Meara said. With 49-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez also shooting a 68, the leaderboard was starting to have the look of a senior's competition. Darren Clarke in 2011 and Ernie Els last year showed that age should be no barrier at the Open. Both were 42 when they lifted the claret jug. O'Meara, Lehman and Hamilton are taking it to a whole ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
British Open: Tiger Lurks, Zach Leads
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
GULLANE, Scotland -- Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods sure know how to start the British Open. Now, they've got to show they can finish. Bouncing back from a tough loss last weekend, Johnson opened with a 5-under 66 on a sunny Thursday at Muirfield - another brilliant start after a 65 at Lytham last year. "I don't know what the secret is," Johnson said. Can he keep it going? A year ago, the 2007 Masters champion followed up with a 74 on the way to a ninth-place finish. "This game demands resilience," Johnson said. "That just comes with experience." Woods has plenty of experience winning majors - he's got 14 of `em - but it's been more than five years since he captured the last one, the longest drought of his career in the tournaments that matter most. Woods also got off to a strong start, posting an impressive 69 in the increasingly difficult conditions of the afternoon. Don't get too worked up about his chances just yet, however. He shot 67 in the opening ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Watson Advice Put Scott on Majors Trail
NYTimes - over 3 years
Of all the words of consolation and advice for Adam Scott after his meltdown at last year's British Open, the most inspirational came from Tom Watson.     
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NYTimes article
Faldo says he couldn't have coped with Watson near miss
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Tony Jimenez GULLANE, Scotland (Reuters) - Nick Faldo is a part-time golfer these days but he showed on Monday the fire still burns as strong as it did in his heyday by saying it would haunt him to mess up a chance to win the 142nd British Open. The six-times major champion, back in competitive action this week for the first time since the 2010 Open at St Andrews, has been drawn to play alongside fellow 'golden oldies' Tom Watson and Fred Couples in the opening two rounds. Watson almost achieved a golfing miracle at Turnberry in 2009. ...
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Yahoo News article
Wadkins hypes Chicago's new Champions Tour stop
Chicago Times - about 4 years
Golf Channel analyst says Encompass Championship in Glenview will have strong field, 'spectacular' course Just in case Tom Watson waffles on whether to play the Chicago area's new Champions Tour event in June, Lanny Wadkins has a trump card.
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Chicago Times article
Tom Watson says golf has no place at the Olympics
Fox News - about 4 years
Eight-time major winner Tom Watson says golf has no place at the Olympic Games.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Greenbrier resort buys historic W.Va. course
Seattle Pi - over 4 years
Greenbrier resort buys historic W.Va. course Associated Press Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 12:43 p.m., Monday, October 15, 2012 (AP) — The Greenbrier resort is buying one of the nation's oldest golf courses after it failed to sell at auction over the summer, the resort's owner told The Associated Press on Friday. The clubhouse and museum are filled with photos of visits from golfers such as Sam Snead, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. The Greenbrier already has three 18-hole courses open for public play and has hosted the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic since 2010. Players — often dressed in period clothes — rent hickory-shafted clubs and hit gutta-percha balls off tees fashioned from sand and water the way it was done more than 130 years ago. Montague and a small group of colleagues held the first competition at Oakhurst in 1888 in the Scot ...
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Seattle Pi article
Sports Birthdays for September 4 — Mike Piazza and More
ESPN 1420 am - over 4 years
Christian Petersen, Getty Images Here are some of the people in the sports world celebrating birthdays on September 4: Raymond Floyd Age: 70 Profession: Golfer Best Known For: Raymond Floyd has been a professional golfer since 1961. Before retiring from the PGA tour in 2010, Floyd won 22 tour events, including four majors. Since joining the Champions Tour, Floyd has won an additional 14 tournaments. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989. Tom Watson Age: 63 Profession: Golfer Best Known For: Tom Watson is one of professional golf’s most successful players of all-time. He has won 39 PGA Tour events, including eight major championships, since turning pro in 1971. Watson was the number one player in the world from 1978 until 1982. John Vanbiesbrouck Age: 49 Profession: Retired NHL Player Best Known For: A four-time All-Star goalie, John Vanbiesbrouck played for the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils ...
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ESPN 1420 am article
Tom Watson to play Australian Open
Byron Shire News - over 4 years
Eight-time major winner and all-round nice guy Tom Watson will play in the Australian Open for the first time in 30 years.
Article Link:
Byron Shire News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tom Watson
  • 2016
    Age 66
    In April 2016, he played in his final Masters.
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  • 2015
    Age 65
    For the 2015 Open Championship, Watson's exemption for his 2009 finish was extended to give him an opportunity to play at St. Andrews and make one final Open appearance.
    More Details Hide Details He missed the cut and made an emotional walk across the Swilcan Bridge at twilight.
  • 2014
    Age 64
    More than twenty years later, Watson again captained the U.S. Team in the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland, this time in a loss.
    More Details Hide Details Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Watson was introduced to the game by his father Ray. His early coach was Stan Thirsk at the Kansas City Country Club. Watson first gained local renown while on his high school team at The Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City.
  • 2012
    Age 62
    In an interview in 2012, Watson admitted that he was "distraught" at coming so close to becoming the oldest Major winner at the age of 59 and said that the experience in the 2009 British Open "tore his guts out".
    More Details Hide Details Watson said of his approach shot to the green at the 72nd hole, when he needed a par to win the Open: "I was going right at the flag but with the uncertainty of links golf, maybe a gust of wind took it a bit further than it was supposed to. I felt extreme disappointment that night but the one good thing that came of that was the response of people around the world."
  • 2011
    Age 61
    Watson got an ace on the 6th hole during the second round of the 2011 Open Championship.
    More Details Hide Details It was the second ace of the week after Dustin Johnson got one on 16 the day before.
  • 2010
    Age 60
    Watson has been outspoken about the effect that too much prize money can have on some golfers. In an interview in 2010, Watson said: "I do believe that, in certain instances, players can be corrupted by the amount of money they make.
    More Details Hide Details I think too much money corrupts the desire and for some players it's about how much money they make rather than just trying to be the best player they can." PGA Tour playoff record (9–5) Champions Tour playoff record (3–8) 1 Defeated Jack Newton in 18-hole playoff – Watson (71), Newton (72) DNP = did not play CUT = missed the half way cut "T" indicates a tied for a place. Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10. 1 Defeated Mason in a playoff with par at the second extra hole. 2 Defeated Smyth in a playoff with par at the third extra hole. 3 Defeated Eger in a playoff with birdie at the first extra hole. Results not in chronological order before 2016.
    In 2010, Watson said that he agreed with Lee Westwood's assertion that Tour players who used 20-year-old Ping-Eye 2 wedges to get around new rules prohibiting box grooves (i.e., grooves rectangular square or U-shaped in cross-section) were going against "the spirit of the game."
    More Details Hide Details Watson also reprimanded Tiger Woods for his "language and club-throwing" and said that Woods needed to "show humility" to the public.
    Watson's 67 in the first round at the 2010 Masters also gives him a record to be the only person to have at least one round of 67 or less in any of the four majors in five different decades (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s).
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    His most recent 67 at Augusta was his opening round in 2010.
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    The following April, Watson competed in the 2010 Masters Tournament.
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  • 2009
    Age 59
    Watson has been one of the most complete players ever to play golf, as evidenced by his competitiveness in the 2009 Open Championship at the age of 59.
    More Details Hide Details Standing 5 ft 9 in and weighing 160 pounds during his PGA Tour years, he achieved abundant length with accuracy, played aggressively, developed a superlative short game, and in his prime was a very skilled and confident putter. Watson is renowned as an exceptional bad-weather golfer, having displayed this gritty talent best in the difficult and varied conditions of The Open Championship. At the height of his career, he was well known for his excellent recovery skills, especially around the greens. Years later, if a player escaped from trouble and somehow made par, tour players described the escape as a "Watson par". Watson also developed a reputation for scrupulous honesty, once even calling a penalty stroke on himself for slightly moving a ball that was in deep rough, although no one else had seen it. In 1991, Watson was critical of the heckling of his playing partner Ian Woosnam during the final round of the Masters. Some of the Augusta crowd were vociferous in their support for Watson, in the hope of seeing him win a third Masters title. Watson, however, calmed Woosnam after he was upset at being yelled at by a member of the crowd on the 14th tee. Watson later said: "There's been a breakdown in decorum, and I don't feel good when partisanship spills over."
    Due to his performance in 2009 and early 2010, along with his 1982 U.S. Open victory at Pebble Beach, the USGA awarded Watson a special exemption to the 2010 U.S. Open.
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    In the first round of the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, Watson shot a 5-under 65, one stroke behind the leader Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
    More Details Hide Details In the second round, he tied for the lead after making a huge putt on the 18th green. His score for the round was 70, 38 out and 32 back. This made Watson – at 59 years of age – the oldest man to have the lead after any round of a major. In addition, with a relatively low-scoring third round, one-over par 71, he kept the lead outright by one shot, so also became the oldest player to lead a major going into the last round. He acknowledged after that 3rd round he was thinking of Bruce Edwards as he walked the 18th fairway. Watson finished regulation 72-hole play in the Open tied for the lead with Stewart Cink, with a cumulative score of −2. He needed a par on the 72nd hole to capture a sixth career Open Championship title, but his second shot on the 72nd hole went over the green. Then, from several yards behind the 18th green, Watson first putted up the slope and past the hole, then missed a second 8-foot putt by about 6 inches to the right of the cup. His bogey led to a four-hole aggregate playoff with Cink, running through the 5th, 6th, 17th, and 18th holes. With several errant shots not typical of the previous 72 holes, he lost the playoff by six strokes.
    Watson is also regarded as one of the greatest links players of all time, a claim backed up by his five Open Championship victories; as well as his 2nd-place finish in the 2009 Open Championship, and his three Senior British Open Championship titles in his mid-50s (2003, 2005, and 2007).
    More Details Hide Details Watson played on four Ryder Cup teams and captained the American side to victory in the 1993 Ryder Cup at The Belfry in England.
    Watson is now also notable for defying age: at nearly 60 years of age, and 26 years after his last major championship victory, he led after the second and third rounds of the 2009 Open Championship, but eventually lost in a four-hole playoff.
    More Details Hide Details With a chance to win the tournament with par on the 72nd hole, he missed an eight-foot putt, before losing the playoff to Stewart Cink.
  • 2005
    Age 55
    Watson was one of two players to play with Jack Nicklaus in the final two rounds of golf in Nicklaus' career, which ended at the 2005 Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews.
    More Details Hide Details Englishman Luke Donald was the third member of the group.
  • 2003
    Age 53
    Note: The Senior British Open was not a Champions Tour major until 2003.
    More Details Hide Details DNP = Did not play CUT = missed the halfway cut "T" indicates a tie for a place Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10. Watson is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has designed golf courses through his Tom Watson Design company in Kansas.
    In the 2003 U.S. Open, at age 53, he shared the opening-round lead by shooting a 65 with his long-time caddy Bruce Edwards carrying his clubs and giving advice.
    More Details Hide Details Edwards had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease earlier in the year, and Watson contributed significant time and money that year with Bruce to raise money for research into finding a cure for motor neuron disease. Edwards died on April 8, 2004.
  • 1999
    Age 49
    Watson joined the Champions Tour in 1999, the same year he earned an honorary membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland.
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  • 1996
    Age 46
    He finished tied for 11th at the Open Championship that year, but he had a revival in the late 1990s, winning the 1996 Memorial Tournament and gaining the last of his 39 wins on the PGA Tour at the 1998 MasterCard Colonial when he was 48 years old.
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  • 1994
    Age 44
    In 1994, when The Open Championship returned to Turnberry, the site of his 1977 victory, Watson commented, "Sometimes you lose your desire through the years.
    More Details Hide Details Any golfer goes through that. When you play golf for a living, like anything in your life, you are never going to be constantly, at the top".
  • 1991
    Age 41
    At the 1991 Masters Tournament, Watson stood on the 18th tee in the final round at Augusta with a share of the lead but had a double-bogey 6 to finish in a tie for 3rd place, two strokes behind the champion Ian Woosnam.
    More Details Hide Details It was Watson's 15th consecutive top-20 finish at The Masters, having finished in the top-10 of The Masters in 13 of the 15 years between 1977 and 1991.
  • 1989
    Age 39
    In 1989, Watson was in contention during the Open Championship at Royal Troon, but he finished in 4th place, two strokes outside the playoff between Mark Calcavecchia, Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.
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  • 1988
    Age 38
    Watson finished 2nd at the 1988 NEC World Series of Golf, missing a 3-foot putt in a playoff against Mike Reid.
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  • 1987
    Age 37
    In the 1987 U.S. Open, Watson had a one-shot lead going into the final round at the Olympic Club.
    More Details Hide Details Watson was a gallery favorite during the tournament. He had strong support from the spectators having played golf for Stanford University, 30 miles south of the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He was aiming to win his ninth major championship, which would have tied him for major wins with Ben Hogan and Gary Player, but Watson lost the tournament by a stroke to Scott Simpson. In the final round, Simpson had three consecutive birdies on the back-nine to take the lead. Watson's 45-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole which would have forced a playoff with Simpson was about two inches short. Watson's stellar play on the PGA Tour faded in the late 1980s when he began to have problems putting even though his tee-to-green game seemed to improve. During this period he had some near-misses in tournaments.
  • 1986
    Age 36
    In the 1986 Hawaiian Open, Watson was the third round leader and was aiming to end his winless streak since July 1984.
    More Details Hide Details However, Watson bogeyed the 71st and 72nd holes and finished in a tie for 3rd place, behind the winner Corey Pavin.
    He also spent 32 weeks in the top 10 of the successor Sony Rankings in their debut in 1986.
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  • 1985
    Age 35
    As a result of a decline in form, Watson missed out on a place in the 1985 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
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  • 1984
    Age 34
    Watson went from being the PGA Tour money leader in 1984 to finishing 18th on the PGA Tour's money list in 1985.
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    After his runner-up finish in the 1984 British Open, Watson did not manage to win a PGA Tour event for the next three years until the 1987 Nabisco Championship.
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    A fortnight later in the 1984 Open Championship at St Andrews, Watson was in contention during the final holes to win a third consecutive Open and a sixth Open Championship overall to tie the record for the most Open wins by Harry Vardon.
    More Details Hide Details However, Watson bogeyed the par-4 "Road Hole" 17th and Seve Ballesteros birdied the 18th, resulting in a victory for Ballesteros and Watson finishing in a tie for 2nd place.
    Watson had three Tour wins in 1984, including his third victory in the Western Open after a playoff against Greg Norman.
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    In 1984, Watson finished runner-up for the third time at the Masters, finishing two strokes behind the champion Ben Crenshaw.
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  • 1983
    Age 33
    The following month in July 1983, Watson won his fifth Open Championship and the last of his eight majors at Royal Birkdale, his only Open victory on English soil. (His four other titles came in Scotland.)
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    In 1983, as defending U.S. Open champion at Oakmont, Watson shared the 54-hole lead with Seve Ballesteros.
    More Details Hide Details In the final round though, Watson missed a 6-foot putt for par on the 17th and finished in 2nd place, one stroke behind the winner Larry Nelson.
  • 1982
    Age 32
    After the first two rounds of the 1982 Open Championship, Watson was seven shots behind the leader Bobby Clampett, whose commanding lead was reduced after a third round of 78.
    More Details Hide Details During the final round, Nick Price, who was playing in one of the groups behind Watson, gained the lead. Watson stood on the 18th tee of the final round two strokes behind Price. Watson waited patiently after his round as Price's lead evaporated, leaving Watson the Open winner by one stroke.
    The following month in July 1982 at Royal Troon in Scotland, Watson became only the third golfer since World War II to win the U.S. Open and Open Championship in the same year after Ben Hogan (1953) and Lee Trevino (1971) - a feat later matched by Tiger Woods (2000).
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    The U.S. Open was the major that Watson most wanted to win. In 1982 at Pebble Beach, he was able to realize his dream after an engaging duel with Jack Nicklaus in one of the most memorable major championships of all time.
    More Details Hide Details Playing three groups ahead of Watson in the final round, Nicklaus charged into a share of the lead with five consecutive birdies. When Watson reached the par-3 17th hole the two were still tied, but with Nicklaus safely in the clubhouse at 4-under par 284. Watson hit his tee shot on the 17th into the rough just off the green, leaving an extremely difficult chip shot downhill on a very fast green. While being interviewed on national television and fully aware of Watson's perilous predicament, Nicklaus appeared confident he was on his way to an unprecedented fifth U.S. Open championship. Watson's chip shot, amazingly, hit the flag stick and fell into the cup, giving him a miraculous birdie and setting the stage for yet another win over Nicklaus. Watson went on to birdie the 18th as well, for a final margin of two shots. His 17th hole chip-in was named the greatest shot in golf history by U.S. television channel ESPN.
  • 1981
    Age 31
    Watson had a further two Tour victories in 1981 at the USF&G New Orleans Open and the Atlanta Classic.
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    In 1981, Watson won his second Masters title at Augusta by two strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
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  • 1980
    Age 30
    In August 1980, after his sixth victory of the year in America, Watson said: "I love this game.
    More Details Hide Details I feel that dedication is the only way to improve. I've been more consistent this year than in the previous three years."
    Watson showed tremendous consistency in 1980, with sixteen top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour that year.
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    Watson had an outstanding year in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details A brilliant third round of 64 at Muirfield helped him to win his third Open Championship title in Britain by four strokes. He was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour for the fourth consecutive year, winning six tournaments in America.
  • 1979
    Age 29
    Finally at the PGA Championship, Watson's low score of the 1970s was a 66 in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1980s he scored a 67 in 1980, 1983, 1985, and 1989. His low PGA score is a 65 in 1993 & 2000. Watson also sets a record for having a round of 65 or less in at least one of the majors in 4 different decades. 1970s: 1977 British Open (65 in rounds 3 and 4), 1980s: 1980 British Open (64 in round 3), 1990s: 1993 PGA Championship (65 in round 2), and 2000s: 2000 PGA Championship (65 in round 3).
    Watson also finished 2nd in The Players Championship in 1979.
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    Watson again finished runner-up at the Masters in 1979, when he lost in a 3-way sudden-death playoff to Fuzzy Zoeller.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first sudden-death playoff at the Masters, with the previous playoff at Augusta in 1970 having taken place on Monday under an 18-hole format.
    In 1979, Watson had a further five PGA Tour victories that year, including a five-shot victory in the Sea Pines Heritage Classic, which he won with a then tournament record 14-under par 270.
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  • 1978
    Age 28
    Watson had five PGA Tour victories in 1978, but he also had one of the biggest disappointments of his career in that year's PGA Championship in August at Oakmont.
    More Details Hide Details Watson had a five-shot lead after 54 holes, but lost the tournament in a 3-way sudden-death playoff to John Mahaffey. This would be the closest that Watson has come to landing the one major title that has eluded him.
    In 1978, as defending Masters champion, Watson needed a par on the 18th hole of his final round to tie over 72 holes with Gary Player, who had shot a record-tying final round of 64.
    More Details Hide Details However, Watson missed out on a playoff by sending his approach shot to the 18th into the gallery and missing the 10-foot par putt he needed for a playoff. He finished tied for 2nd place at Augusta, one stroke behind Gary Player.
  • 1977
    Age 27
    Watson revisited his 1977 Open Championship win at Turnberry with another win there in the 2003 Senior British Open.
    More Details Hide Details He followed this up with victories in 2005 and 2007. After residing for many years in Mission Hills, Kansas, Watson now lives in Stilwell, Kansas with his wife, two children, and three stepchildren. He designed the National Golf Club of Kansas City golf course.
    Watson's 1977 Open Championship victory, at Turnberry in Scotland, was especially memorable, and is considered by many to be the finest tournament played in the second half of the 20th century.
    More Details Hide Details After two rounds, he and Jack Nicklaus were one shot out of the lead and paired for the third round. Both shot 65, ending the third round three shots clear of the field. Watson and Nicklaus were again paired for the final round. On the last day, the two were tied after 16 holes. Nicklaus missed a makeable birdie putt on 17, losing his share of the lead to Watson, who birdied 17. On the 18th, Nicklaus drove into the rough, while Watson drove the fairway. Watson's approach landed two feet from the flag, while Nicklaus, after a drive into deep rough and near a gorse plant, managed to get his approach 40 feet away. Nicklaus sank his birdie putt to finish with a 66, but Watson followed suit with his own birdie, finishing with a second straight 65 and his second Open, with a record score of 268 (12 under par). The two players finished well ahead of the other challengers (Hubert Green in third place was ten strokes behind Nicklaus, at 279), and shot the same score every round except for the final day, which was then played on Saturday.
    Watson won his second major championship and his first green jacket as Masters champion in 1977 after a duel with Jack Nicklaus.
    More Details Hide Details During the final round Watson stood on the 17th green tied with Nicklaus for the lead. Watson holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie to go one stroke ahead of Nicklaus. Watson's par on the 18th hole won him the Masters title by two strokes after Nicklaus had a bogey on the 18th.
    Several of Watson's major victories came at the expense of Jack Nicklaus, the man he replaced as number one, most notably the 1977 Masters, 1977 Open Championship, and the 1982 U.S. Open.
    More Details Hide Details Though his rivalry with Nicklaus was intense, their friendly competitiveness served to increase golf's popularity during the time. In Watson's illustrious career, his eight major championships include five Open Championships, two Masters titles, and one U.S. Open title. The only major that has eluded him is the PGA Championship, which would put him in an elite group of golfing "career grand slam" winners that includes Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. In all, Watson's eight majors ranks 6th on the list of total major championship victories, behind only Nicklaus, Woods, Walter Hagen, Hogan, and Player.
  • 1975
    Age 25
    Watson won the 1975 Open Championship in an 18-hole playoff and 34 years later lost a playoff for the 2009 Open Championship.
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    With Nelson's guidance on swing mechanics and course management, and determined hard work, Watson's game advanced quickly, and he won his first major championship, the 1975 Open Championship, on his first appearance in the event in Britain.
    More Details Hide Details Watson holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole to tie Jack Newton. The following day Watson won an 18-hole playoff at Carnoustie by a stroke, carding a 71 to Newton's 72. Watson was able to gain the upper hand in the playoff after chipping in for an eagle at the 14th hole. Watson is one of only four players since World War II to have won the Open Championship on their debut, the others being Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Lema (1964) and Ben Curtis (2003).
  • 1974
    Age 24
    Only two weeks after the Winged Foot collapse, Watson won his first Tour title at the 1974 Western Open, coming from six shots back in the final round.
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    Watson contended in a major championship for the first time in the 1974 U.S. Open at the Winged Foot Golf Club, but he faded badly in the final round after having the 54-hole lead.
    More Details Hide Details Following this disappointment, Watson was approached in the locker room by legendary retired player Byron Nelson, a broadcaster at the event, who offered encouragement, insight and assistance. Nelson and Watson spoke briefly at that time, with Nelson saying he liked Watson's game and aggressiveness, and offered to help him improve. Watson, although disappointed by his weak finish, was flattered to receive Nelson's interest. However, the two men did not manage to get together to work on golf in depth until several months later, when Watson played in the Tour's Byron Nelson Classic in the Dallas area, and visited Nelson's nearby home. The two men would eventually develop a close and productive teacher-student relationship and friendship; Nelson had similarly mentored the young rising star Ken Venturi during the 1950s.
  • 1973
    Age 23
    He hired Bruce Edwards to be his caddie for the first time at the 1973 St. Louis tournament held at Norwood Hills Country Club, and the two connected, with Edwards caddying for Watson at most events after that for a period of many years.
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  • 1972
    Age 22
    Watson is the only golfer to participate in all major professional championships contested at Pebble Beach: 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, and 2010 U.S. Opens, and the 1977 PGA Championship.
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  • 1971
    Age 21
    Watson joined the PGA Tour in 1971 after a very good amateur career, and gradually improved.
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    He attended Stanford University, playing on the golf and table tennis teams, joining Alpha Sigma Phi, and graduating with a degree in psychology in 1971.
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  • 1967
    Age 17
    Watson won four Missouri State Amateur championships, 1967, 1968, 1970 and 1971.
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  • 1949
    Born on September 4, 1949.
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