Cornering Tom Watson at the PGA Show


ORLANDO, Fla. – Tom Watson was a youthful looking 60 making his appearance this morning at the Polo Ralph Lauren exhibit at the PGA Merchandise Show.

With his playoff loss at the British Open last summer, and his victorious duel against Fred Couples Sunday at the Mitsubishi Classic, Watson is looking like he has found the fountain of youth.

What’s he discovered to help him turn back the clock?

“There’s nothing different,” he said. “I’m playing pretty well. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well for the last 15 years. I know what I‘m doing, the question mark’s been the putter. Even though I had some issues with it Saturday, I didn’t have any on Sunday.”

Watson finished birdie-birdie to beat Couples by a shot in Couples’ Champions Tour debut.

If you’re a Watson fan eager to see him again, you’ll get the chance next week when he tees it up against the young bucks in the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic. His next start after that is the Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic March 5-7 at Newport Beach Country Club in California. He won't play again after that until the Masters in April.

Watson’s actually No. 11 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, prompting the question if his hot play has him thinking about another shot at things that once seemed as unlikely as a 59-year-old contending for a major.

“No, at my age, you take it one day at a time and see how you are feeling that day,” Watson said. “If your body’s not feeling too bad, you hit the ball.”

Before ending the interview, I asked Watson if his comments about Tiger Woods for the NBC-TV affiliate in Kansas City accurately depicted his feelings. Watson was shown saying Woods needed to make amends for his situation and return to golf showing humility. He also said Woods needs to rein in his cursing and club throwing. With editing, you never know what’s left out of an interview and how it shapes what was aired. Watson, however, said he stood by his comments.