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Watson says 'hello' to Phil; Mickelson says 'hello' back

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tom Watson appeared on Golf Channel’s “Live From” Wednesday at Augusta National and agreed with earlier comments made by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer that Tuesday’s Champions Dinner was one of the better ones over the past few years.

“There’s not a question,” Watson said. “The conversations have been pretty stilted the past several years.

“I think it was wonderful for younger players to see that and to hear the stories from the older players. That’s the way you pass down history and lore, by word of mouth. That’s the old-fashioned way, not by your cell phone and doing a Google.

“But to hear the stories direct from the horse’s mouths is something very special, and that’s what happened last night.”

That led host Steve Sands to follow up with a question regarding Watson’s interaction with Phil Mickelson at the dinner.

Mickelson was massively critical of Watson’s leadership style in a news conference immediately after the Americans were clobbered by Europe in the Ryder Cup in Scotland last September.

Watson: “I said ‘hello’."

Awkward silence.

Sands: "And?"

Watson: “He said ‘hello’ back."

Sands: “It was OK."

Watson: “Yeah."

Sands: “I think golf fans were kind of wondering how everything would play out as far as what happened and what happens how?”

Watson: “No, everything is fine. It really is.”