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.