Tom Watson: My career in pictures

Tom Watson

Tom Watson talks you through five key moments from his illustrious career.

Tom Watson  

Unbridled joy at the1982 US Open

“Here I am running around the green after I chipped in for birdie at 17 in the final round of the 1982 US Open at Pebble Beach. It was a very short chip from the rough. I was on a downslope with the ball below my feet. It wasn’t easy to get close, that’s for sure. My caddie Bruce Edwards put the bag down and said, ‘Get it close.’ I said, ‘Get it close? Hell, I’m holing it!’ I took dead aim and hit it exactly how I wanted. It broke a little to the right and hit the pin dead centre.”

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Tom Watson’s 3 steps to winning The Open

1. Master the long-range putts
“You face more long putts at The Open than in any other major championship – and at St Andrews, with the huge double greens, you’ll face more than at any other Open venue. If you don’t practise your 60-foot putts and get the speed nailed down early, you’ll struggle. When Tiger won in 2000, his putting touch was simply elegant. He had a number of putts from long distance, and he rolled them all stone dead.”

2. Accept the unpredictability
“A lot of players think they need to adapt their game or change their technique to contend in and win an Open Championship. I never felt like that. I just had to learn how to like it. After six years of fighting against links golf, I eventually realised I just needed to accept the bounces and inconsistencies that you get on a links course but don’t see on a manicured American layout. Links golf is unpredictable so you have to roll with the punches.”

3. Get lucky with your tee times
“When Tom Weiskopf won at Troon in 1973, he was scheduled to tee off at around 4pm in the first round. Tom never stopped complaining about the draw, claiming that as the Canadian Open champion, he should have been given a better tee time. As it turned out, the weather on the Thursday was terrible. The afternoon was bad, too, with heavy rain and strong winds. However, at 3.50pm, the skies cleared, the wind dropped and Tom went out onto a soft golf course and shot 66. He went on to win the tournament. That’s how quickly it can change at The Open.”