Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tom Watson Leads the British, Shocks Anyone and Everyone That Isn't Tom Watson
People use this as an excuse for golf not being a sport, but I hate those people -- golf is the best because of things like Tom Watson at the British Open on Thursday. At 59, Watson has no reason to be anywhere close to the top of the leaderboard. This was supposed to be a hand-waving exhibition for what Watson did at Turnberry in 1977 and no more.
Instead, Watson went out and shot a 5-under 65 to take the lead and possibly become the oldest leader of a major championship EVER. Watson didn't make a bogey, said he missed one green and even told TNT after his round that "he'd like another one of those" when asked about the Claret Jug.
Watson, along with Mark O'Meara and Mark Calcavecchia, are doing what links golf allows you to do ... hit good shots and score. The five-time winner of the Open mentioned after his round that this is the only major he can contend at, because the others have become so long it is impossible for him to have a chance.
Turnberry can measure 7,204 yards, but none of that matters. Watson is one of the better ball-strikers to ever play the game, and he showed that again on Thursday.
Will he win this week? Nobody knows. Can he win? I think Thursday gave us a good idea of the possibilities of that.
PETER MUHLY, AFP/Getty Images