Friday, July 17, 2009


With the Canadian Open on tap next week, it’s a nice time of year for a golf Touchdown, and who better than 59-year-old Tom Watson, who turned back the clock for most of Thursday on Day One of the British Open to lead the tournament with an opening round 5-under 65. What was great about Watson’s comments after his stunning round was how humble they were. He admitted the pristine weather conditions left the course “defenseless.” He was showing respect for a golf course where he famously won his second of five British Open Champions in 1977 in the so-called “Duel in the Sun” with Jack Nicklaus. “She was defenseless today,” Watson told reporters after his round. “Obviously the golf course played with no wind, and it was an easy test, if you have an easy test in an Open Championship. The wind is supposed to blow a little bit more (Friday) and blow a little bit on Saturday and stronger on Sunday, so she’s going to bare her teeth a little bit.” This is one of the reasons why Watson is revered by British golf fans. He shows respect for their traditions and their storied golf courses. It would have been tempting on a day when the best golfer in the world (Tiger Woods) struggled to a 1-over 71 to talk about beating the field or his chances to win the tournament, but Watson wisely demurred. He just said he’d been playing well and hitting the ball straight, while talking about how much he’d enjoyed himself in the bogey-free round. A pinch of humility goes a long way.

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