Just like last year, a past-his-prime golf legend had the chance to make history at the British Open. And just like Greg Norman in ’08, Tom Watson let it slip away and came away empty-handed.
But what a performance! For 71 holes Watson out-played every golfer on the course, 64 of whom hadn’t been born when Watson won the ’77 Open at Turnberry. He just needed a par on the last hole, but dribbled the 8-foot putt he needed to win and found himself in a four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink.
Unfortunately the playoff wasn’t even close, with a tired-looking Watson missing fairways and leaving himself in some bad spots. You could see the disappointment growing across his face and in his body language as Cink pulled away, finally winning by six strokes.
So we didn’t get the storybook finish, but Stewart Cink did get his first major victory. Any chance this is the start of a late-career resurgence for Cink? He’s been something of a disappointment with only 6 PGA Tour wins on his resume after his stand-out college golf days at Georgia Tech.
–Scratch The Caveman
PS: It’s not all bad news for Tom Watson. His performance skipped him up a record 1269 places in the world rankings, leaving him just outside the Top 100 at 105. “That is the biggest improvement that we have seen from anybody. It is a record,” said Ian Barker, who manages the official rankings. Still, I bet he loses some sleep over what could have been…