Watson is a longtime rival and friend of tournament host Jack Nicklaus. He won 39 times on the PGA Tour along with eight majors, none as memorable as the two times he beat Nicklaus. First came the famous “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry in 1977 for the British Open, then Watson’s chip-in behind the 17th green to beat Nicklaus at Pebble Beach in the 1982 U.S. Open.
One of his last PGA Tour wins was at the 1996 Memorial, which Watson won at age 46 by two shots over David Duval.
Watson will be honored at next year’s tournament, and get a bronze plaque on a wall that includes all the game’s greats.