A number of weeks ago I reviewed Tom Watson's new book, The Timeless Swing. Little did I realize then how prophetic it would turn out to be. The 61-year-old Watson defeated David Eger on the 1st playoff hole to capture the 82nd Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Eger fashioned a superb 67 to Watson's final round 70 to close a 3 stroke deficit at the start of the final round and force the extra hole. They both finished regulation play at -10. Truth is, both missed relatively easy putts on the 72nd hole that if either one had dropped, the playoff would have been unnecessary.
It seems no one is immune to major championship pressure. Eger found a fairway bunker with his tee shot, while Watson split the fairway. Advantage Watson. Eger was forced to lay up and Watson's 2nd shot on the par five nestled in a greenside sand trap. Watson calmly played out to about three feet for a birdie and the win. When asked about the winning putt he responded, "Why dawdle. I didn't take much time with the putt. I took one practice stroke and figured, 'Let's get this over with"'.
Kiyoshi Murota battled back problems stemming from the 3rd round to capture solo 3rd at -9. Hale Irwin, at 65, almost 66 years young, threatened throughout the event. His tough final round 73 placed him in 4th alone at -8. Full Field Final Scores
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Watson has indeed proved that a solid, repeatable golf swing can be enjoyed for life. It would be hard not consider him a contender at this year's Open Championship. I'm not Watson's age, but I'm a lot closer to it than Rickie's or Rory's. Guess I'll keep playing.