It’s not realistic to think 63 year-old Tom Watson has a chance to pick up his 40th PGA Tour win this weekend at The Greenbrier Classic, but he made the 36 hole cut at the Old White TPC golf course in Sulphur Springs West Virginia on Friday, and that’s the first step. The eight time major champion, and 2014 Ryder Cup Captain fired a one under par 69 to get in at three under par for a two-day total. The cut came in at one under par.
Watson is proving to his younger counterparts that if you can keep it in the fairway at these old golf courses, you can score. He is first in driving accuracy this week with a two-day average of over just 89%. On Thursday he hit almost 93% of his fairways en route to posting a two under 68.
If the elder Watson could get his putter going, he could do something extra special. His putter and short game have let him down on birdie attempts, but has bailed him out when he’s needed par. His strokes gained putting numbers this week have all been in negative figures.
The last of Tom’s career PGA victories came at the expense of Jim Furyk at the Colonial in 1998. His last Senior Tour win was at The Senior PGA Championship in 2011. The eight major victories include two Green Jackets from Augusta, an unforgettable US Open win at Pebble Beach in 1982 where he made the legendary chip at the 17th hole to beat Jack Nicklaus, and five Open Championships. The last coming at Royal Birkdale in 1983. Watson never won a PGA Championship, and does not have a career slam on his resume.
A local PGA event is usually on Tom Watson’s calendar every year as he prepares to travel to Europe for The Open, but this year, he, and Ryder Cup Co-Captain Andy North are at Old White TPC scouting Captain’s Pick possibilities for next year’s Ryder Cup. You have to be assured that players are aware of where the Captain is on the course, and they are all wanting to make a good impression.
With his maintained skill set, and his ability to play the British links courses, you have to wonder, like I do, that maybe a good final pick just might be himself. I don’t think he can putt well enough anymore, but what a story that would be.
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