PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Tom Watson's future at the U.S. Open is unknown, but at least he gave the roaring gallery one more weekend to appreciate what he's meant to the game and to Pebble Beach.
Watson entered the final round of the U.S. Open tied for 16th. A finish inside the top 15 would've given him an automatic exemption into next year's Open at Congressional. The 60-year-old was well within his target through eight holes but a barrage of six bogeys in eight holes down the stretch left him on the outside looking in at 11 over par.
On the 18th hole Watson hit a beautiful bunker shot to within 2 feet and missed the putt for birdie. He tapped in for par to shoot 76, picked the ball out of the cup and threw it directly into the water, just as he did in 1982 when he won the U.S.Open here.
'You give the ocean its due,' Watson said. 'It's a thank you for not taking it one more time.
'The crowd was wonderful all day. The emotions are pretty high. There's a lot of sadness, but it's based on a lot of great memories.'