Not only did 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, 64 year-old Tom Watson make the 36-hole cut at The Greenbrier Classic on Friday afternoon, he followed his second-round 2-under par 68 with another 68 on Saturday. His -3 under par total for the week also put him well ahead of the 15 players who will not play on Sunday for missing the secondary cut.
With the cooler, low humidity conditions, The Old White golf course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia took on a more difficult persona on Saturday afternoon, and the golf got a little more difficult.
After a couple of bogeys to go along with three birdies on the front nine, the eight-time major champion made the turn at one under par only to birdie number 10, and shoot even par for the final eight holes.
Watson is the pro emeritus at the Old White Resort, and is sneaking up on a couple of the records set by the former pro at Sulphur Springs. He made the 515th cut in his ageless career when he survived the secondary cut on Saturday.
“I played a good round of golf today,” Watson said. “I made a few mistakes, but I’m getting better at the birdies. I made two the first day, three the second day, and four today. So maybe I can go low on the last day on Sunday.”
Tom could surpass Slammin Sammy Snead on Sunday if he can play his way into the top ten. He would surpass Snead’s 1975 tie for eight place in the B.C. Open at age 63.
Snead made his final cut at age 67 when he played in the 1979 Westchester Classic, and his last win came at age 52 in the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open, which is now called The Wyndham.
“I always admired the way Sam played the game,” Watson said. “He had a marvelous touch and rhythm in his golf swing. He was my dad’s favorite swinger of the golf club. When I was growing up, my dad said you have to swing like Snead, son. You have to swing like Snead.
It’s great when an old-timer like Tom Watson can play in a tournament with youngsters he will undoubtedly lead into Gleneagles for the 2014 Ryder Cup. It’s another thing when he can be competitive enough to challenge that youth for a championship.
I, for one think that Tom needs to take his clubs to Scotland in October, and use one of his three Captains Picks on himself. Who better than having the best cold weather wind player on the planet to help bring the Cup back home.
After all, he has five Claret Jugs, and almost picked up a sixth in 2009 at age 59.