Forget Rain and Cold Watson Had Fun


This is still the same old Tom Watson. Hes the same ol guy who gets absolutely no joy out of anything but a first-place finish. A golf tournament, to him, is one winner and a whole bunch of losers. Theres no such thing as second, third or fourth place. If you didnt win, you might as well have finished 70th. There is one success and a lot of others.
Its not fun finishing second, said Watson. It never has been, never will be.
Watson finished first last week. That was fun, even though Oklahoma City was windy with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees and persistent rains coming down more often than not. But it was fun, and if you didnt like the weather, Watson seriously wondered if you really are a golfer.
Watson scoffed at the description of the weather some called hostile. He was born, raised, and still lives in the Kansas City area, and this time of the year it gets rather ' well, cold. But to Watson, a little chill, a little rain, are what makes the game interesting.
Maybe to some of the players, the weather was hostile, he said. But to me, it certainly wasnt. I was very comfortable playing golf today. It was not a difficult day at all to play golf.
After all, you could see the white ball against a green background, couldnt you? There wasnt any snow to make it white-on-white. He could keep his hands warm, which was the only concern. The mitts stayed comfy the entire day, and Watson played right on through the cold and rain, the mud and blood and the beer. And, for a change, his putting was sound. Everything he could see, he made. You know the horror stories about Watson and the putts.
I hope this, too, shall pass someday, he said, praying to the golf gods to once again let him take a position he once held as the most feared putter in the game. But it may not, I may always have problems with my putting. I dont know. But it sure is fun to hit the ball well. And hit the ball where youre aiming at most of the time.
Watson hadnt won this year, so golf hadnt been much fun, either. Five times he either tied for second or finished second outright, but you know Watson ' just tell me about the wins, OK? If he didnt win, it really didnt matter ' an inch, a foot or a mile, its all the same to him.
But just because theres no joy to him in finishing second, hes still smart enough to glean something from it.
What I do is look at it and see how I can improve and what I did wrong, he said. Its true in life ' Bobby Jones said that you dont learn by your victories, you learn in your failures. You learn through your failures.
What did I not do right? Thats another way of putting it. Rather than what didnt I do wrong, what did I do right? And then go ahead and pursue that avenue.
Watson has been playing a long, long time to still be looking for right-wrong answers. But thats the way he is. And, occasionally, he still has fun.