LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – To paraphrase a man from this part of the world: It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
Five-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson was teetering on the cut line Friday afternoon before playing the final two holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
Faced with a 2-foot par putt on 17, a balky stroke led to a short miss, moving him temporarily to 4 over. But that was only temporary because on the final hole he drilled a 30-footer for birdie, getting back to 3 over and right on the number at day’s end.
“I was trying to play it, oh, about this far outside the hole,” Watson said, holding his forefingers 4 inches apart. “It started about that far outside the hole,” – his fingers now 8 inches from each other -- and then stayed that way. And I said, ‘Oh, it's going to miss it to the right.’ And it just did a duck hook at the end there and went right in the hole. I didn't see that much break at the end. I knew it was going to break left at the end, but I didn't know that much break. Good thing I did misread it.”
That putt concluded a two-day total of 71-72, ensuring the 62-year-old would make the cut for the 25th time in 35 career Open appearances.
“I hate to miss the cut,” he said. “I mean, I still feel as if I can play certain courses, and this course is a little long for me, but I'm glad to have put myself in position to still be there for the last two rounds on the weekend.”