Tom Watson is rock steady going into final round of British Open at Turnberry
Do you get the feeling that British Open leader Tom Watson might fare a little better than the last year’s senior-in-contention, Greg Norman?
Watson, despite being nearly seven years older than Norman was last year when he had a chance to win at Royal Birkdale, seems steadier at Turnberry than Norman.
Maybe it’s the fact that Watson has won at Turnberry before (who could forget the duel with Jack Nicklaus in 1977?), or that he has five British Open titles and three British Seniors to his credit. Watson just seems to carve up a course like a surgeon, never getting too excited, never getting rattled, never taking unnecessary chances, never making anything but Tom Watson signature swings.
Norman, for all his talent, hadn’t played a lot of golf going into last year’s Open, plus he juggles so many balls between his personal life, business life and playing. Watson, essentially, has always been a professional golfer.
He said he played his practice rounds well this week, so he had a ton of confidence coming in. No kidding.
As Curtis Strange said of Watson on ABC’s broadcast on Saturday: “His rhythm has been fantastic today in this weather.” Added Paul Azinger: “Look at his balance!”
My guess is Watson will keep that rhythm and balance. Those are some of the characteristics that have been part of his consistency and success for a long time. Most of us didn’t expect that out of Norman, although we hoped Norman could somehow hold it together last year.
Of course, if Watson manages to win the Claret jug tomorrow, this would be a sports history accomplishment of unparalleled proportions. To win golf’s most prestigious major at nearly 60 years of age can’t be overstated. And this will also be reminiscent of what Ben Crenshaw did at the Masters in 1995.
Crenshaw felt like his longtime mentor, Harvey Penick, whom Crenshaw helped bury just days before, was with him the whole time. Watson feels like his longtime caddie, Bruce Edwards, who died five years ago of Lou Gehrig’s disease, is with him this week as well.
What a story.
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