Golf’s Michael Bamberger has a nice appreciation of Tom Watson.
Watson is the last great player voice representing the golf establishment in the game today. (Nicklaus and Palmer had that voice before him. Davis Love III would have it today, if his game got him in to more press tents.) When Watson talks, he’s really talking about the game first and his own game second. Woods was never built for that even before he ran over a fire hydrant last November, and now there’s no chance. Last week, when several players — Woods most notably — complained about the greens, Watson noted that in ‘72 “they were black and blue.” Golf is lucky to have a player on the scene with a memory and a perspective.
I’ll add just a couple of thoughts to the piece:
In the wake of the Tiger meltdown, Watson has in a way saved golf. When he missed the weekend at the 2009 British Open, Tom’s incredible run kept the headlines focused on the golf at hand. At the beginning of the 2010, with the media doing its hand wringing over the future of golf, he stole headlines again by winning the Mitsubishi Electric over Fred Couples, scored a Top 10 against much younger men in Dubai, finished T18 at the Masters and T29 at a US Open that crushed the souls of players forty years younger.
Every golfer I know is pulling for him every time he tees it up. He’ll be back at the British, and being in contention, if only for a little while, would be a wondrous thing.