Watsons Goal - 59 Before Hes 59

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ALOHA, Ore. (AP) -- At this point in his career, Tom Watson has only one real goal.
 
'I'd like to shoot a 59 before I'm 59,' said the 53-year-old winner of 39 PGA Tour events, five Champions Tour events and nine total majors on both tours.
 
Perhaps he'll get his 59 in the coming week as the Jeld-Wen Tradition, the final major on the senior tour, debuts in Oregon.
 
The Tradition, which has been played in Arizona for the past 14 years, gets under way Thursday at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, a Portland suburb.
The telecast will be seen on The Golf Channel beginning at 6 P.M. ET.
 
Watson suggested scores will indeed be low on the par-72, 6,994-yard course.

'If the greens get a little faster and harder, the scores won't be as low. But I think there will be a lot of birdies on this course,' he said.
 
Defending champion Jim Thorpe, known for his unorthodox swing, had played just a handful of holes on the course, but suggested the final five tough holes might determine the winner.
 
'Having three par-5s in the last five holes is going to be exciting,' Thorpe said. 'You can't expect to come in at 1- or 2-under par and hold on.'
 
Thorpe made a three-foot birdie putt on the final hole at last year's event at Superstition Mountain, forcing a playoff with leader John Jacobs, and then birdied the 18th hole again to win his first major on what was then called the Senior PGA Tour.
 
'It's a new venue, but it's always good to defend,' he said with a smile.
 
Thorpe won his sixth senior tour event two weeks ago, edging Oregon native Bob Gilder by a stroke in the Long Island Classic.
 
'I'm coming in with a lot of confidence,' Thorpe said.
 
Gilder hails from Corvallis, Ore., about an hour's drive south. He knows the course well, having played it for the Fred Meyer Challenge.
 
The Challenge was PGA Tour pro Peter Jacobsen's popular two-day event for charity that attracted players like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and David Duval. It ended last year when its sponsor opted not to renew.
 
'It's always nice to be able to come back and play in your home state, and play for all the people who've supported you your whole career,' Gilder said.
 
He lamented the loss of Jacobsen's Challenge, but said the Tradition helps give Oregon a profile-boost in the golf community. The state was also the host of this year's Women's U.S. Open.
 
'I think it's just fabulous to have a major championship. It is very important to Oregon,' he said, adding: 'We put on a heck of a show, I think.'
 
Among the 78 players in this year's Tradition are Jack Nicklaus, who has won the event a record four times, and Watson, who becomes the first player to compete in all nine PGA Tour-Champions Tour majors in a single season.
 
Watson won the Senior British Open this season. In the tour's other majors this year: Jacobs won the Senior PGA, Bruce Lietzke took the U.S. Senior Open and Craig Stadler won the Senior Players.
 
It's the first time the tour has been to Oregon since the 1982 U.S. Senior Open at Portland Golf Club.
 
Related Links:
  • Tom Watson's Bio
  • Full- Coverage - JELD-WEN Tradition
     
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