Tom Watson’s Run In The British Open Gives Hope To AARP Members Worldwide

July 20, 2009 – 1:45 pm by Jimmy Shapiro

I just got back from vacation, although not sure I can call it a vacation when part of it was spent in fascinating Cherry Hill, New Jersey at my parents’ house with my wife and I sleeping in separate twin beds.  Not because my parents are creepy like that, but because they sold their house a few years back.  Anyway, I was watching the final round of the British Open with my 71 year old dad and his best friend and they were rooting hard for Tom Watson.  And neither of them even likes golf. 

I know that black people like to root for black people, and Italians like to root for Italians, etc, etc, etc, but I never knew that old people like to root for other old people in sports.  Or maybe it’s because they so rarely get the chance.  It’s not like we’re going to see Willie Mays step up to the plate against Johan Santana or Bill Russell try to block a Dwight Howard shot.  With Tiger Woods missing the cut, ABC needed a great story in the British Open and Watson provided it.

Tom Watson joined ESPN Radio Chicago on Monday to talk about his 2009 British Open Experience.

How much did fatigue become an issue for you yesterday?

I don’t think it really became an issue. It was just a culmination of a few bad swings there in the playoff that sunk my chances, especially at 17 when I hit that bad tee ball there, that really put me behind the eight ball.”

How’d you feel about your overall round yesterday?

 I played well. I made some good swings. I played well coming into the stretch, actually at the 18th hole, the last hole, I hit a perfect tee shot and a perfect second shot, the ball only landed, as my pal Andy North said, he said it landed about a foot on the green and rolled all the way over with an eight iron. It must have hit just a real hard hump there, it was just like concrete, it just didn’t stop. It almost stopped just behind the green, but then I failed to get it up and down.”

What were your emotions this morning about what had happened the last four days?

Disappointment. There as a lot of disappointment. But, I went out and played a practice round here in London; I’m at Old Sunnydale getting ready for this week to play in the British Senior Open, maybe I can beat these old fogies”

What are your thoughts about Stewart Cink?

Well Stewart’s been there. He’s been there a lot during certain major championships. He’s been sniffing right behind the leaders; he’s been due to win. He’s a good player, he’s being taught by Butch Harmon, who I think is about the best teaching pro there is out there. I think he’s going to win some more.”

Have you been inspired to play more on the regular tour or are you just going to stick to a full schedule on the senior tour

Well I actually don’t play a full schedule. I play about half the senior events, and I play a couple events against the kids. I don’t know, they’ve made the courses so long. Like Augusta National, I can’t play Augusta National anymore; it’s too long for me. It’s too long for a lot of the players frankly. They’ve made several courses on the regular tour that long. I wouldn’t be much of a factor at those courses, but there are a few shorter courses where I can be a factor. I’m still pretty content to play a couple tournaments against the kids and the rest on the Champions tour. These old guys are tough to beat, I can tell you.”

Listen to Tom Watson on ESPN Radio Chicago with Waddle & Silvy

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