Following Watson at St. George’s in ’93

July 16, 2011 at 8:07 AM | Posted in Golf | 3 Comments
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My son Brendan and I followed Tom Watson at Royal St. George’s in 1993, the year my least favorite player, Greg Norman, ran away from the field. My company back then, ASK, led in Europe by my friend Graham Page, hosted a Tent and I was a guest. I may have said hello to a customer or two but I was hell-bent to get out on the course and follow my hero.

These were the bad days for Watson when he was deep in the throes of his putting miseries. I remember well, actually it is all I remember, how he missed short birdie putt after short birdie putt until he started missing greens – and then he missed the par putts.

I had followed Watson often in the States and I knew his walk and this time, as the reality of the situation sunk in, that this was to be yet another bad putting day and that he was playing himself out of the Tournament, he began to sag.

St. George’s has a special place in English Golf and though I never got to play it, I was excited to see it, preparing for the day when I would get my chance. In those days, at the height of my golfing fever, I played so many great courses and I never imagined that the day would come when that would all be in the past.

Brendan and I did have a special day, one not many Yanks get to have and we carry that with us this weekend as the great Watson makes his presence felt yet once again.

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  1. Despite the excellent company (I don’t remember any customers being there by the way!) I don’t recall that day with much pleasure. We had the worst of British trains getting there and back, and, as usual at Sandwich, someone I didn’t want to win did. Today is shaping up the same way unless Clarke brings off a miracle.

    Watson once again has brought his smiling grace to the Open. He grinned his way to another outstanding round yesterday in the worst of the weather. The most amazing thing is his putting which has largely recovered from the bad times of ’93. I can’t recall any other golfer recovering his stroke once it was lost.

  2. Great post. I had some similar experiences at my one trip to the Open Championship in ’99. We played Turnberry twice and Gleneagles and others. It got to the point that playing great courses was just, well, what we did. I wish I would have kept a journal or somehow paid more attention to what was going on at the time. We were spoiled. “Youth is wasted on the young” might be a little strong because I wasn’t all that young. But there is a grain of truth there somewhere.
    Brian

    • Never in a million years did I think that I would step away from golf — never. I miss golf but I’m glad my addiction is in the past. i went too far. I will say that my many rounds in England, Scotland and Ireland were some of the happiest days of my life. I felt completely fulfilled.


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