After nearly 10 years in the position, Tom Watson is no longer the pro emeritus at the Greenbrier Golf Club.
When Jim Justice took over as the resort's owner in 2009, he inherited Watson's contract as its top professional. Justice told the Charleston (W. Va.) Daily on Wednesday that Watson's contract recently expired and was not renewed.
"Although Tom has been a great emeritus to the Greenbrier, it is very expensive and Tom's time is very limited," Justice said. "He's a great man ... a great, great man and his accomplishments are world-renown, but his time is very limited and considering the component of how difficult it is for him to be at the Greenbrier and the economics of it, it's probably better for all parties that we go in a different way."
Watson began as pro emeritus in April 2005, joining Sam Snead as the only other professional to hold the position in club history. He has played in the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic each of the last four years, cracking the top 40 in both 2013 and 2014, and at age 65 continues to play competitively. He has made two starts this year on the Champions Tour and is expected to make his 41st consecutive Masters appearance next month.
Last year Watson captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the second time, losing decisively at Gleneagles in a result that led the PGA of America to overhaul the process by which it chooses captains for the biennial event.
Justice has not yet named a successor for the position, but according to the report he will look for a professional who can offer lessons and spend more time on-site during the golf season.
"Being the golf emeritus at the Greenbrier, we would like them to be there a lot," Justice said. "That's an absolute impossibility with Tom."