Watson finishes with a flourish
Tom Watson ended his 37th Open on a high note by carding a four-under-par 68 which enabled him to finish the Championship on one-over-par 289.
The 64-year-old then turned his attention to this year’s Ryder Cup and in particular to whether he should award Captain’s picks to both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
“That was a very good day. It gives me encouragement for the Senior Open ”
“That was a very good day,” he said before departing for next week’s Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl, where he will be pitting his wits against the likes of Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
“It gives me encouragement for the Senior Open. I don’t know anything about the golf course but it’s fun to finish here with a birdie. Finishing the way I did helps to get ready for the next tournament. You feel lighter. You don’t feel like you have a burden that you’re taking with you.
“But it’s just one day,” he added. “It’s a snap shot. It’s not a big deal.”
The five-time Open Champion believes that it is still too early to worry about the fact Woods and Mickelson are not firing on all cylinders.
“It’s not a burden at all,” he said. “It’s going to be what it is but it’s not got to that point yet. Ask me the question September 1st or September 2nd when I make the three picks. If Phil and Tiger don’t make it into the mix I’ve got some real thinking to do.
“Everybody thinks I’m going to pick them automatically but I can assure you I’m not. I said about Tiger that I’ll pick him if he’s playing well and he’s in good health and it’s the same with Phil. How can you not pick them if they’re playing well.”
Watson will make his 38th and last appearance at next year’s Open at the Old Course, St Andrews. He won on his debut at Carnoustie back in 1975 and has gone on to win on four other occasions at Turnberry in 1977, Muirfield in 1980, Troon in 1982 and Royal Birkdale in 1983. He has also claimed five other top-10 finishes including at Turnberry in 2009 when he lost a four-hole play-off to Stewart Cink at the age of 59.