Watson still feeling fresh as Walton Heath beckons

20/07/2011 16:55:53
Tom Watson (pic by Phil Inglis) ()
Tom Watson (pic by Phil Inglis) ()

After his much-celebrated performance at The Open Championship at Royal St George’s last week, Tom Watson says he is feeling as fresh as ever as he vies for a record fourth Senior Open Championship title at Walton Heath Golf Club, in Surrey.

The American tees off at 2.20pm on Thursday alongside Barry Lane and Nick Price and, when asked if his exertions at Sandwich might affect his performance this week, he was unequivocal.

“I feel fresh,” said Watson on Wednesday, who certainly didn’t look like a man worn down by the sometimes-torrential conditions on the Kent coast.

“I took the day off today, just hit some balls and practiced my short game a little bit today.  But I played a practice round on Monday and played in the Pro‑Am yesterday, but I feel as if I’ve got a pretty good handle on the golf course.

“The golf course is pretty straightforward, as far as knowing what to do. The bunkers and the heather are right there in front of you. They almost say, come here, come here, and you have to say no!”

Watson has fine-tuned his putting stroke in recent weeks, and the question almost came in the form of a U2 song title when it was put to the eight-time Major Champion that he had “found what he was looking for”.

There would be few more popular winners than the 62 year old, and he believes his putting game could enable him to do just that.

“I putted well at The Open. That’s kind of a luxury for me to say that, because I had not been able to say that in a long time. That’s what gives me some excitement about coming here this week – the putter,” he said.

“I had not been able to say that for a long, long time, and so maybe, I hope this is not just a blip on the radar screen. I hope this is something that will last for a long time.”