Watson convinced he played it right at Open

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship SUNNINGDALE, England ' Tom Watson says he is already over the heartbreak of missing out on a sixth British Open title at Turnberry, and is convinced he played the right approach shot at the final hole.
 
The 59-year-old golf great was on the verge of becoming the oldest winner of a major when he led by one stroke going down the last fairway on Sunday. But he wound up losing a playoff to Stewart Cink after he sent an 8-iron approach that rolled right across the green, and then missed an 8-foot putt for the win.
 
No, theres no self-recrimination. There cant be, Watson said Tuesday, as he turned his attention to trying to win the Senior British Open for a fourth time. I tried my best on every shot, and sometimes you make the right judgments and sometimes you dont. If I hit a 9-iron on the last hole, I may hit it three inches fat and come up 20 yards short, who knows? I hit the shot I wanted to and, when it was in the air, I thought: This may be mine.
 
Despite the outcome, Watson said he couldnt have hit the shot any better.
 
You look back in perspective of the rounds and how they went, that 8-iron that I hit at 18 will always live with me, Watson said. I hit the shot that I wanted to hit, I really did. And I asked my friend, Andy North, exactly where that ball landed on the green. He said it landed one foot on to the surface, over the knob, one foot on the surface. So it had the whole length of the green to stop. Thats where I was trying to hit it. I was trying to hit it 164 yards, right there. It just didnt stop.
 
I look at that shot, I hit it perfectly, and didnt get the break.
 
Watson said he had a near sleepless night on Sunday and had to console his distraught 26-year-old son Michael. But he then had no problems putting what happened in perspective, comparing it with his visit two years ago to the hospitalized U.S. troops in Iraq, some of whom sent him messages after coming so close at Turnberry.
 
There is still quite a vacuum in the stomach, he said. Im not crying but Ive been affected by it to a certain degree. But this, too, shall pass. Honestly its not the most important thing in life.
 
What puts it in perspective is, very frankly, a series of contacts from people I met when I went to Iraq a couple of years ago. Many of them have contacted me and said: Congratulations, and, oh, by the way, when youre in a neck-high bunker and you have a 4-footer, just remember, its just a game.
 
I give them credit for keeping me on the straight and level here and not getting too disappointed about what happened on Sunday. The joy of it has been some of the tears from my son and my friends, being able to kind of soothe them to a certain degree and say I did what I was trying to do, and it just didnt work out.
 
If Watson had held on and won the Open, he would have received an exemption to carry on playing in that championship for another 10 years. But with the Open organizers having an age cap of 60, next years event at St. Andrews is likely to be his last. Unless he wins it.
 
Watson said he spoke to Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson about the age limitation and agree with it.
 
Its sensible, you have to give the young kids a chance to play, and thats the whole reason behind it, he said. Get the old fogeys out of there, and give the young kids a chance to get in there and shine.
 
Now hell be grouped with two more former Open champions, Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle, as he sets out to win the Senior title he captured in 2003, 05 and 07' aiming to keep up his streak of winning every other year.
 
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    Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

    By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

    Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

    Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

    Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

    Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

    At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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    Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

    By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

    Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

    An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.



    The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Tuesday
    11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
    4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals

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    Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

    The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

    Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

    She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

    Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


    “Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

    Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

    Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

    Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

    On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

    Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.