Robert Beck/SI
Watson's Run Was Magical
By Kickntrue on 7/20/09
Stewart Cink is the champion and deservingly so, but let's talk more about Tom Watson.
Who was the crowd for?

"Watson," said a marshal with a thick brogue. "Watson's half-Scottish, or should be with that many Opens."

Fans wore orange caps, a Nevada Bob's giveaway item, and on the blank spot above the bill scrawled exhortations like "Come on, Tom!"

Greg Norman had played his way into the final twosome of the 2008 Open but fell apart on the back nine. Phil Mickelson, the people's choice at Bethpage Black, was on his way to winning the 2009 U.S. Open for himself and his ailing wife, Amy, until it all began to go wrong on 15.

But Watson made believers out of everyone. He wasn't succumbing to the moment, crosswinds or age. He knew how to finish. Watson made us certain that the most fanciful sports story of the century was going to get every last edit and chapter heading and wind up in hardcover.
I love the "half-Scottish" quote. Even other pros were coming back after their rounds to watch Tom finish from behind the ropes as fans. Instead of making the rest of this post a bunch of cliches, I'll end with this thought; I hope there were moments this weekend where you were able to forget everything else that existed. I hope for moments you were able to fantasize about "what ifs" and relive some of your own magic in any area of your lives.

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[ comments ]
Tee it High. says:
I can honestly say I have never been so nervous watching a sporting event. I wan't Watson to win so badly and was screaming STOP! at my TV when that 8 iron into 18 was running through the green. I hope this near win makes people remember how great Watson was and brings his accomplishments back to the forefront a little more.
7/20/09
 
Lerxst says:
I screamed the the same thing... LOL! I couldnt watch the rest of the playoff after Tom hit out of the rough only to go about twenty feet and still in the hay... I just couldnt watch - I went and had a couple of shots to drown my dissapointment. I still will never forget this Open tournament as long as I live. Win or loose, he has still triumphed in my book as an inspiration that I will be able to play this sport for a good while to come.
7/20/09
 
falcon50driver says:
I got in from Sunday Mass in time to see Watson putting from the fringe, then missing the putt.
How can golf be so cruel?
Kickntrue says:
Watson was -3 through 71 holes. +7 on his last 5.
7/20/09
 
stevesmith says:
Tom Watson has been my hero forever. He is a month younger and comes from Kansas City where I was born. I believe Tom was mentally and emotionally drained when he arrived at the 18th after what I thought were two very good shots coming in. I wish he would have taken a bit more time on the chip back and I wish he would have chipped it instead of putting it. With his short game he should have had a 2 foot putt coming back and another jug on the mantle. However, He is still my hero and one of the greats of the game.
7/20/09
 
Tee it High. says:
I just have to add that for a 59 year old to have such a smooth swing with such flexibility and rotation is amazing and fun to watch.
7/20/09
 
falcon50driver says:
Stevesmith, I'm with you on the fringe shot. With his chipping ability I was expecting him to chip it in the hole, or very very close. (I) would have putted it, but the outcome would probably been about the same as what he got, because of the grass behind the ball. He's so much better that what he showed on the last 3 shots in regulation. I'm still grieving. I was looking forward to him getting the 10 yeay exemption and seeing him play the Open at 69.
7/20/09
 
Kickntrue says:
(Very) small consolation- sports.espn.go.com/golf/britishopen09/news/story
7/20/09
 
Lerxst says:
In that artickle, this was kinda cool:

"The PGA of America is considering offering Watson an exemption into the PGA Championship next month at Hazeltine and has until Aug. 3 to finalize its invites. The PGA is the only major keeping Watson from having a career Grand Slam."
7/20/09
 
ToddRobb says:
I can honestly say I genuinely felt sorry for Tom, not because he didn't win, but for the quality of his putt on 18. I wanted him to make that putt sooo bad, I was literally on the edge of my seat. That putt was not indicative of how he played for four days, I was actually wishing I could kick it back to him and let him do it again. I told my wife "God must have different plans for him", that's the only way I could settle it in my head. He's STILL a winner in my book.
7/20/09
 
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