Tom Watson Turns Back The Clock at The Masters

April 9th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

It takes a lot of steal some of the thunder from the Tiger Woods storyline heading into the 2010 Masters on Thursday.  But that is exactly what happened as Tom Watson turned back the hands of time with a remarkable bogey-free, 5-under par round of 67 to open his tournament.

Watson was the only player in the entire field on Thursday to navigate his was through Augusta National without a bogey on the card.

Someone asked Watson where he would place the round on Thursday.

“Well, tied for first,’’ Watson remarked. “It’s all about the score.”

Watson’s son caddied for him for the second time, who proposed to his girlfriend earlier in the week on the Augusta National grounds.

Prior to the tee-time on Thursday, the elder Watson said that his son encouraged him to go out and play a solid round of golf, as Watson had missed the cut in 11 of the previous 12 Masters.

“He didn’t say,”’ Watson stated, “’for a change.’ But I knew that’s what he was thinking.’’

Watson methodically plotted his way through the golf course, playing aggressive when necessary, and conservative at times as well.

On No.15, Watson proved he still has the length to get home in two on a par-5 as he connected on a solid driver and hybrid combination to get him there, and produced an easy birdie on the card.

“Didn’t want to chip it back in the water, so I left it a little short,’’ Watson remarked in a post-round interview. “I hit the putt too hard from about 30 feet and went right in the middle of the hole; birdie.”

Last year in the British Open, at 59 years old, Watson came so close to winning his ninth career major, losing in a playoff to Stewart Cink after having a putt to win the championship.  Watson stated that in spite of the defeat, so many good things emerged from that week.

“I would have to say that there’s been a certain glow about the whole situation, even though I finished second,’’ Watson said. “And the glow comes from the people who watched it and who have come up to me and have commented to me about what they thought of it.”

“You know, there’s been a couple of them that … actually, more than a couple, but a lot of them have said, you know, I’m not too old now.  You’ve just proven to me that I’m just not too old.”

Watson has been competing full-time on the Champions Tour.

“I say, well, I’m playing on this Champions Tour.  I’m playing against the old guys.  Some of you here say, well, get rid of that tour, it doesn’t mean anything.  But it does mean something when you play competition.  If you continue to play competition and the chips are down, as you’re trying to make as Freddie Couples a 4-footer on the Champions Tour, and a 4-footer at Augusta, you’re still competitive,” he said.

“Before the senior tour, what happened to the old guys?  They had no place to play really, no place to stay competitive, and we do now.  I give credit to going to Turnberry and that … getting back to your point, after Turnberry, that glow is still around.  And it comes from people who said, “I just have to say something to you.”

Watson was installed with odds at 250/1 to win the 2010 Masters prior to Thursday.  Through Thursday, revised odds have set him at 66/1.

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