July 3 2012
Interview: Tom Watson
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.