home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 24, 2005

Tom Watson


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tom Watson, congratulations on winning your second Senior British Open title. Multiple winner of the British Open and now a multiple winner of the Senior Open. Along hard day out there. But an exciting day. Just a couple general thoughts about the day and your victory today.

TOM WATSON: Well, obviously, it wasn't as good a day as yesterday from my standpoint of striking the ball. But the outcome was good.

I kind of lost my rhythm out there just a little bit. I think that I'm not making any excuses the play was quite a bit slower today than it was yesterday. And it seemed like I never could kind of establish anything as far as a rhythm is concerned like I did yesterday. Yesterday everything was easy, today it was more forced. I was fortunate to win. I didn't I had my opportunities, I made a few mistakes. The opportunities I had coming in, on 15, 17, and 18, I had good birdie putts on all three of those holes and didn't connect there.

I missed a real short one at 15. I missed it from about two and a half, three feet at 15 and then I had 16 I hit a bad shot off the tee, but I hit a good second shot up there and had actually a pretty makeable birdie putt.

But overall, my round yesterday was the best round I had all year. It got me back into the tournament. It was a pleasure to play a round of golf like that. I learned quite a bit about my putting stroke yesterday and today. And I found something that maybe will continue on with me. I hope that it works a little bit better for the rest of the year.

And I, overall, I, after the first round, I felt that I played actually, the first round I played some pretty good golf to shoot 75 in that 30 mile an hour wind. And after that I played some really good golf in the middle two rounds. And then today it was more of a struggle.

So as to general thoughts, my hole by hole scores, the second hole, I made a birdie there. I hit it on the green with a 3 wood. I knocked it I had about a 15 foot eagle putt. Didn't make that. I 3 putted.

The fourth hole I made double bogey. I hit a bad drive in the left rough. I chopped it out, trying to put it up the left side and ended up going into another bad lie. I hit it a pretty good shot out of there just to leave it short of the green. Then I 3 putted from just short, from about 40 feet. And I made double bogey.

The 6th hole I got away with a bad second shot. I hit a 3 iron that hit the mound and came whack back and I made a good chip up there for an easy birdie. But I didn't hit a very good second shot like I did yesterday. Yesterday I hit a beauty. I hit it about two feet yesterday.

The 10th, 11th hole I birdied. I hit 2 iron and a sand wedge to about two feet at 10.

Then at 11, I hit a 9 iron in to about 12 feet. I made that putt for birdie.

Then 13, I made a bogey there. I hit it in the fairway bunker off the tee. With a 2 iron. I got it on the green and it was about 40 feet and 3 putted for bogey there.

The last few holes I had some opportunities for birdies at 15. I missed, as he I said, I missed it from about three feet at 15 for birdie.

And then 17 I hit a good shot in there with an 8 iron. Which really kind of set up my 8 iron in the playoff. And I thought I might have a little bit of an advantage there over Des because Des hit a 7 iron in regulation and came up short. And he watched me hit 8 iron in the playoff, and now he's thinking he's got to hit a hard 8 iron and he blocked it. And I think it kind of gave me an advantage where I hit a real good shot in regulation and I just, I banked on that to make the same swing in the playoff. And it was good enough.

In regulation, getting back to regulation, I had a makeable birdie putt at about 17 and 18 in regulation. I missed those.

The first two playoff holes on 18 I had to make about a five footer for, to stay in it. On the first playoff hole. I ran it by about five feet. My dad would have been shaking his head, I think, if he were here.

Then the second playoff hole neither of us came very close.

And then the third playoff hole on 17, I hit an 8 iron and I hit a good solid shot up in the air. He hit an 8 iron into the right bunker and obviously you saw what happened. He came out about 20 feet and missed it. I 3 putted.

That was it. This baby is, it goes in the cabinet. Right by the other one from two years ago.

Q. You know that's your sixth win in Scotland?

TOM WATSON: It's the sixth win in Scotland.

Q. Amazing.


Q. What is it about it?

TOM WATSON: I think they made me an honorary Scot, haven't they?

Q. They should have. Tom, your first every Major was at Carnoustie, which is 50 miles down the coast. Is there something in the air in this part of the world?

TOM WATSON: Has to be the haggis. I remember a great little story there. I remember we rented a house in Montfieth for the week. John Mahaffey and Hubert Green and myself. And we commuted over to Carnoustie. In fact I practiced at Montfieth. I practiced at their practice ground before I went over to Carnoustie in the morning or before I played. And I remember in the playoff round nobody in the neighborhood really bothered us at all. Just let us alone. But right before the playoff, getting into the car, a little girl came over and in bare feet and it was about temperature about like this. Bare feet. She gives me a little tinfoil of heather that I stuck in my bag. And I kept that in my bag for about four years. That was very sweet.

Q. It seems that you got a soft spot for the course here at Royal Aberdeen as well.

TOM WATSON: I liked it when I played in '96. It was a wonderful test. And it was a great test again this week. I said at the beginning of the week, with the conditions, that around par would win and, yeah, that's essentially four people broke par. That was it. And we had pretty benign conditions the last two rounds. But it's a very, very difficult golf course. It's a great links golf course. It has everything a links golf course should have. Obviously I had a lot of fun playing it. Especially yesterday.

Q. Would you like to see the Senior British Open return here one day?

TOM WATSON: I would love it. Obviously. This is we had a great week this week. We had, we met a lot of nice people. The town of Aberdeen and the surrounding area came out, the crowds were very good. Yesterday and today. They came out in cold weather. Best crowds that I've seen over here. And we ought to come back.

Q. You were talking about your putting today. Is it fair to say you were close to throwing it all away?

TOM WATSON: Well, it was very close to throwing it away, yes. I missed the short birdie putt at 15 and 3 putted four. But I struggled with the putter all week. I made the putts that I had to make today. Fortunately, nobody else made any putts today.

Q. Your four wins in Scotland in the Open Championship. Another two here. It goes without saying that you've been one of the great links golfers of the past 13 years. What was it for you how do you think you got this way that's made you such a wonderful player in the seaside links?

TOM WATSON: I really think that it goes back to my understanding of links golf. Which started in '79 and culminated in '81. Before '79 I played from '75 to '78, I didn't particularly like links golf. I was an American golfer. I liked it through the air, hit the ball high, couldn't hit the ball low with much accuracy.

But I didn't like it. And I remember in '79 I said this many times that I played it, I played at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. I didn't play well in the tournament, but I had somewhat of a bad attitude. I got some bad bounces and this and that. And I finally told myself, you know, this game is played on the ground. And you have to expect some bounces, some good bounces and bad bounces. And I've had some terrible bounces out here. But I've had some great bounces. And, but in '81 my friend Sandy Tatum organized a trip. He organized a trip, we started at Ballybunion, and that started my love affair with Ballybunion and links golf, side by side. We played at Ballybunion and then we went up and played Dornoch. We played Prestwick and Troon. And it was with Sandy, who was an Oxford student and who played a lot of golf over, both in Scotland and Ireland and England, during his days over in Oxford. And he really kind of led me into a different way of thinking about golf. And I owe him a great debt of gratitude for that.

Q. As a links specialist, what qualities do you see are needed to play well?

TOM WATSON: Well, the qualities of links golf is to understand how far you can hit it. To get the right weight to the shot. I've always been pretty good at that. No matter what type of golf course I've played on, I could figure out how to get it pin high. And when you play links golf, for instance, the 12th hole here, the par 5. I hit a 7 iron 240 yards here on the second round. 240 yard 7 iron. Now, you don't hit 240 yard 7 irons. But then I backed off and hit an easy 6 iron yesterday and then hit a good 6 iron today.

And there's a one little knob, right in front of 12 right there, about 20 yards in front of 12. And it's kind of lush. And I hit this 6 iron perfect, it was going right at the hole and gets right in this knob and comes up short. And then I chilly it. Then I put a chilly dip on my pitch shot. And I struggled to make five. But if it hits if it hits five feet short of that on that same line, it's a good chance that I'm going to be very close to the hole. But it hit five feet this way on an up slope on a soft area and stopped it short. And you have to go with that. You just can't get upset about it. That's the essence of links golf.

Q. The wind seemed to bristle a lot more in the middle of the round and seemed to get colder than it did early in the day. Did that affect how you played today?

TOM WATSON: I tell you, the 10th tee is the coldest place in Scotland. Every day it's cold there. You come, you play up nine like that, you get a little bit cold on the green, you go over to 10 tee and, God, it's cold on that tee. 10 and 11 tee. And but I the wind really was the same wind as we played yesterday and the first two days. It really didn't vary in direction. It was basically just the same wind. So we got to know the wind. And we got to know the golf course playing this type of wind.

As you saw, as I said, nobody, nobody was familiar with this golf course when we first played it this week. Nobody. And you just saw the scores get better and better and better as the week went by. Obviously the wind had something to do with that, but I would suspect that the next time we play here, which I hope we do, if we had the same type of wind that we had the first day, that the players would probably get around here a little bit easier. They got to know the golf course.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tom, congratulations. Thank you.

TOM WATSON: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297