United States’ Tom Watson smiles at a news conference during a practice round at the British Open Golf Championship at the Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland, Wednesday, July 15, 2015.
Watson is sure to get a fabulous send off at St Andrews and says he’s not in Scotland just for the ride.
Watson decided this was also the right time to announce that the 2016 Masters will be his last, his decision influenced in large part by a second-round 81 at Augusta National this year. “The golf course is too big for me, and with my declining skills and length, I won’t be playing that”.
“As I said a couple weeks ago, the toolbox is kind of half empty with the tools I used to be able to play good golf”. The ball bounces around a lot, rolls a lot and the way I like to move it is pretty hard when it’s windy. But his week ended on Friday with seven bogeys and a final-hole triple-bogey that left him with an ugly 81.
Watson will always be remembered for his five Open titles that came at Carnoustie (1975), Turnberry (1977), Muirfield (1980), Troon (1982) and Birkdale (1993).
It is a unique style that has made him a rich man but Watson acknowledges that “going straight” might be the only way to conquer St Andrews and win the British Open this weekend just as Louis Oosthuizen did at the home of golf in 2010. “The finality of the end is here, but what tempers that very much are the memories and the people I’ve met along the way”.
“I really don’t know how I’m going to feel, although I can start with some of the emotions”. He has won the British Open five times.
The 36-year-old told reporters: “The Open Championship is tough”.
Watson’s eligibility to play in the Open runs out after this year.
“I’m just going to make the announcement that next year’s Masters is going to be my last Masters. The game is part of the fabric over here, as I said”.
Watson also says he gets inspired and motivated by the success of his rivals and wants to push on and emulate the new generation coming through.
“The thing I loved about that tournament was what Jack (Nicklaus) did”, said Watson.
“That’s the hope, if in reality I’m not, it will a great final walk”. On the Champions Tour, Watson has six majors titles among 14 victories.