ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – As Tom Watson marched his way up the venerable Swilken Bridge well past dinner on Friday the thought occurred that we have now witnessed the swansong trifecta.
In 2005 we watched Jack Nicklaus play his final Masters and later that summer his last Open Championship on a warm, sun-splashed afternoon at St. Andrews.
Although Watson’s final British Open at St. Andrews wasn’t exactly storybook, he shot rounds of 73-75 to miss the cut and putted out on the 18th hole at 10 p.m. just as play was being suspended for the day, he still savored the experience, if not his play.
“As I said yesterday, she (the Old Course) was naked yesterday, but she put on her boxing gloves today and just hit us with all she had,” said Watson, who birdied the last hole after nearly driving the green and chipping to inches.
Watson , who played seven Open Championships at St. Andrews and finished runner-up to Seve Ballesteros in 1984, made it clear that he plans to continue playing the event, but he did pause on the famous bridge to enjoy the moment.
“When I first played here I didn’t like it,” he smiled. “I learned to like it and eventually to love it.”