Tom Watson was officially named captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team on Thursday.
It will be the second time in Watson’s career that he has led the U.S. team. The last came in 1993 at The Belfry, site of the Americans’ last victory on foreign soil. Since then, the U.S. has lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, including this year when Europe matched the largest final-day comeback in the history of the matches.
Watson played in four Ryder Cups, compiling a stellar 9-3-1 mark that helped the U.S. win three of those and tie in a fourth. Five of his eight career majors have also come at the British Open, and he has won the Senior British Open three times.
The 2014 matches will be played at Gleneagles in Scotland.
"It gives him instant credibility," Brandt Snedeker said of Watson . "They'll treat him as one of their own. It'll be an interesting dynamic."
Snedeker also said Watson is “one of the best competitors of all time" and that he will bring “fire and that unwillingness to lose and that mental strength that's defined his career."
What do you think of Watson as captain? How do you think he will fare? Discuss below.
Tom Watson unveiled a plaque Tuesday on the 18th fairway of Turnberry’s Ailsa Course to commemorate the 178-yard 7-iron approach to two feet which sealed his victory in 1977 Open Championship. The Senior British Open begins Thursday at Turnberry, where Watson also famously lost a playoff to Stewart Cink in 2009. For more coverage of the major championship on the Champions Tour this week, click here .
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- How does it feel for Tom Watson to make the cut at The Greenbrier Classic?
“Well, I’m one out of two,” he said.
That’s more than Phil Mickelson could say, who missed the cut here for the second straight year. Tiger Woods was sent packing, too.
The 62-year-old Watson? He looked young again a year after missing the cut here.
Watson birdied three of his first five holes Friday on his way to a 68. He enters the weekend 2 under and seven shots off the lead.
The last time Watson made the cut in a regular PGA TOUR event was at the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he tied for 19th. He also made the cut at last year’s British Open, where he tied for 22nd two years after nearly becoming golf’s oldest major champion.
Now he’s hoping to become the TOUR’s oldest winner at the former home of the man he’s trying to surpass, the late Sam Snead.
Watson isn’t looking to be just a ceremonial figure, either.
“I'm not here to enjoy the weekend,” Watson said. “I'm here to compete and play my best and see if I can do better than 68 the last two rounds.”
Watson won five British Opens in his Hall-of-Fame career and just as familiarity with links golf helped him across the pond, his knowledge of The Old White TPC seems to be paying off, too.
”The golf course is a little long for me in places, but today I played most of those holes pretty well,” said Watson, who has been the pro emeritus here since 2005. “All in all I was very happy with the round.”
And why shouldn’t he be?
This is Watson’s 603rd career start on TOUR. He’s made the cut 496 times with his latest coming where Snead once called home.
Snead was the oldest player ever to win on TOUR, capturing the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open at 52 years, 10 months and 8 days.
Watson is 10 years older than that, so he didn’t mind waiting out a 90-minute weather delay in the middle of his round Friday.
“It actually helped me, gave me a chance to get my legs back a little bit, relax a little bit,” Watson said. “Plus I had a chance to eat good Greenbrier food out here. They spoil you here.”
Now Watson hopes he can return the favor.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Tom Watson is the pro emeritus here at The Greenbrier, where earlier in the week he said he had a few tricks up his sleeve.
“Makes you feel old, emeritus,” Watson said.
He hardly looked it Thursday.
Watson shot 70 in the opening round of The Greenbrier Classic, where he had two birdies and two pars on the 7,200-yard course. Not bad for a 62-year-old.
And not bad considering he’d hurt his hand recently.
“It took a while to recover,” he said. “It's in good shape now and I'm getting my legs right now. I'm playing hit and miss: Miss and hit, hit and miss, hit and hit, miss and miss.”
He didn’t miss much in the opening round, at least with his driver or his irons.
Watson hit 13 of 14 fairways and 15 greens in regulation.
“I don't treat this tournament any different than any other tournament I play in,” Watson said. “I'm here to compete the best that I can compete. This course doesn't favor my game because of its length, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I might be able to get around some of the long holes and make it up on some of the shorter holes.”
He did just fine on the longer holes, parring the difficult second, 11th and 13th holes. He added birdies on the par-4 seventh and the par-5 17th, too.
If there was a downside to Watson’s day, it was the fact that he was done in by the one club that’s always plagued him throughout his Hall-of-Fame career: The putter. Watson took 33 putts.
Still, he outplayed some pretty notable players, including Tiger Woods, who shot 1 over.
Prior to the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, Tom Watson meets with the media and talks about The Greenbrier.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Tom Watson knows a little something about history.
He won 39 times on the PGA TOUR, including eight major championships, and another 14 times on the Champions Tour.
Given that resume, there are few players who can assess the careers of Tiger Woods an the late Sam Snead better than the man who’s played with and against both.
Woods has 14 career major championships, which puts him four shy of Jack NIcklaus’ record. Woods also has 74 career wins on the PGA TOUR, second all-time to Snead’s 82.
So which is the more impressive record?
“They're two separate animals,” Watson said. "The importance you put on the majors make that record probably the most important record, but the way I look at it, how many times have you won and have you won majors.”
Woods has won three times this season. None of those were majors, however. His last victory in a major came at the 2008 U.S. Open.
The last time Woods won at Bay Hill, Muirfield Village and Congressional in the same year, 2009, he went on to record six victories that season. Again, however, none at a major championship.
“It's how many tournaments you win,” Watson said. “Look at the majors, the last nine majors won by first-timers. Golf goes through cycles. You had the dominance of Woods for all these years, the resurgence of Woods now. When I look back at somebody's record, I'll say, first of all, how many tournaments did they win. That's number one. Did they win more than 20 tournaments? Then I'll say how many majors did they win, did they win more than three or four majors? Then that puts them up in the great category.”
Woods, of course, has done both, and if he keeps playing the way he has this season, he might surpass both records, too.
Note: All times Eastern
Tuesday, July 3
11:30 a.m. -- Scott Stallings
Noon -- Jimmy Walker
12:30 p.m. -- Billy Hurley III
1 p.m. -- Tiger Woods
2 p.m. -- Tom Watson
Wednesday, July 4
After pro-am -- Phil Mickelson
Got a question for World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson? Send us your questions for Direct Connect — PGATOUR.COM’s video franchise that gets you closer to a PGA TOUR pro each week — and host John Swantek might use it when he chats with Watson, the eight-time major winner who has committed to play in next week’s The Greenbrier Classic.
If you’ve been wanting to ask this legendary player a question, now is your opportunity. Just fill out the form below.
Also, we are now taking video submissions of questions. If you would like to send a video of you asking your question, please email the video to email@example.com. Please keep video to 20 seconds or less, shoot landscape style, and include your name and where you’re from in the text of your email.
Direct Connect video is posted each Wednesday afternoon on PGATOUR.COM, so please check back then for the Watson interview.
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods didn’t need it, but Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald and amateur Patrick Cantlay – to name a few – did.
What was it? The 10-shot rule.
After two rounds, the Masters cuts to the low 44 players and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. That meant Woods slid in on his own (147, T-40) while the others needed those two shots of grace to make the cut at 5-over 149.
Sixty three players in all made the cut.
Stricker and Bradley shot 77s, but eased in at 4-over 148 along with Fowler and Donald. Cantlay shot 78, but made it at 149.
Who didn’t make it? Among others, former Masters champions Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Larry Mize and Tom Watson (151) , Bernhard Langer and Rory Sabbatini, who both shot 80s Friday and finished at 152, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (153) and Darren Clarke, who shot 81 and finished at 154.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
If you’re reading this and haven’t finished (or started) shopping for the golfer in your life, you know you’re under the gun. Fortunately there’s help online, from the good ( our holiday gift guide) to the very, very bad.
For what not to buy, check out the “10 stupidest golf gifts” from Golfdigest.com. To sum it up – goofy headcovers aren’t so cool anymore, scoring computers shouldn’t replace scorecards, loud pants are best left to John Daly and “adjustable club” doesn’t mean one club that changes into other clubs.
Running out of time is no excuse for the bad golf gift.
PERRY’S MOVE: Kenny Perry, a first-time winner on the Champions Tour in 2011, will return in 2012 with a new equipment deal. The longtime TaylorMade player is switching to Adams Golf, playing Speedline woods and Idea hybrids and irons.
Other prominent Adams players on the Champions Tour include Michael Allen and former Schwab Cup
WEDGE GAME: The personalization aftermarket for wedges is turning into big business. It’s not enough anymore to choose a loft and a metal finish, not with multicolored paintfills and shaftbands plus engraved initials and even entire names. Cleveland is the latest to join the party, with its mycustomwedge.com website. (You can tinker with different designs without purchasing.)
Titleist and wedge designer Bob Vokey have been in the customization business for a while at vokey.com, and makes its new SM4 wedges available for personalization in January. New engravings (pictured) are among the customization options.
A 15TH CLUB?: Titleist had some fun with its TOUR pros, asking what they would put in their bag if a 15th club was allowed. Check out the video here. Some opted for wedges, some for hybrids. What would you want?