Tom Watson (golfer)

Tom Watson
Tom Watson after winning the 1982 US Open.png
Watson after winning the 1982 U.S. Open
Personal information
Full nameThomas Sturges Watson
Born (1949-09-04) September 4, 1949 (age 70)
Kansas City, Missouri
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg)
Nationality United States
ResidenceOverland Park, Kansas[1]
Hilary Watson
(m. 1999; died 2019)

Linda Rubin
(m. 1972; div. 1997)
ChildrenMeg, Michael, Kyle, Kelly Paige, Ross
CollegeStanford University
Turned professional1971
Current tour(s)PGA Tour Champions
(joined 1999)
European Seniors Tour (joined 2011)
Former tour(s)PGA Tour (1972–2014)
Professional wins70
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour39 (tied 11th all time)
Japan Golf Tour4
PGA Tour of Australasia1
PGA Tour Champions14
Best results in major championships
(wins: 8)
Masters TournamentWon: 1977, 1981
PGA ChampionshipT2: 1978
U.S. OpenWon: 1982
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1988 (member page)
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984
PGA Player of the Year1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984
Vardon Trophy1977, 1978, 1979
Bob Jones Award1987
Old Tom Morris Award1992
Payne Stewart Award2003
Charles Schwab Cup2003, 2005

Thomas Sturges Watson (born September 4, 1949) is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour Champions, formerly on the PGA Tour.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. He was the number one player in the world according to McCormack's World Golf Rankings from 1978 until 1982; in both 1983 and 1984, he was ranked second behind Seve Ballesteros. He also spent 32 weeks in the top 10 of the successor Sony Rankings in their debut in 1986.[2]

Watson is also notable for his longevity: at nearly sixty years of age, and 26 years after his last major championship victory, he led after the second and third rounds of The Open Championship in 2009, but lost in a four-hole playoff. With a chance to win the tournament with par on the 72nd hole, he missed an 8-foot (2.4 m) putt, then lost to Stewart Cink in the playoff.

Several of Watson's major victories came at the expense of Jack Nicklaus, the man he replaced as number one, most notably the 1977 Masters, 1977 Open Championship, and the 1982 U.S. Open. Though his rivalry with Nicklaus was intense, their friendly competitiveness served to increase golf's popularity during the time.

In Watson's illustrious career, his eight major championships include five Open Championships,[3] two Masters titles, and one U.S. Open title. The only major that has eluded him is the PGA Championship, which would put him in an elite group of golfing "career grand slam" winners that includes Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. In all, Watson's eight majors ranks sixth on the list of total major championship victories, behind only Nicklaus, Woods, Walter Hagen, Hogan, and Player.

Watson is also regarded as one of the greatest links players of all time, a claim backed up by his five Open Championship victories, his runner-up finishes at the 1984 Open Championship and 2009 Open Championship, and his three Senior British Open Championship titles in his mid-50s (2003, 2005, and 2007).

Watson played on four Ryder Cup teams and captained the American side to victory in 1993 at The Belfry in England. More than twenty years later, Watson again captained the U.S. Team in 2014 in Scotland, this time in a loss.[4]

Personal life

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Watson was introduced to the game by his father Ray. His early coach was Stan Thirsk at the Kansas City Country Club. Watson first gained local renown while on his high school team at The Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City. Watson won four Missouri State Amateur championships, 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1971.[5] He attended Stanford University, playing on the golf and table tennis teams, joining Alpha Sigma Phi, and graduating with a degree in psychology in 1971. Today he has a home in Overland Park, Kansas, after fighting a prominent legal battle to prevent annexation by the city.[1]

Although he voted for George McGovern in his first presidential election Watson later became a Republican.[6] He has donated to the National Rifle Association.[7]

Watson was a member of Kansas City Country Club from the beginning of his professional career. However, in 1990 he was unsettled by the idea that the leaders of the club rejected an applicant due to his Jewish faith. Watson, whose wife at the time and two children were Jewish, stated, "It was a very personal decision. I just didn't feel my family was welcome. It was time to say, 'Hey, let's be fair to people. Let's not judge people on the basis of race or faith.'" Watson abruptly resigned in 1990. However the Jewish applicant, H&R Block founder Henry W. Bloch, was ultimately admitted to the club as were other minorities. Disarmed by these overtures, Watson rejoined the club.[6]

PGA Tour


Watson joined the PGA Tour in 1971 after a very good amateur career, and gradually improved. He hired Bruce Edwards to be his caddie for the first time at the 1973 St. Louis tournament held at Norwood Hills Country Club, and the two connected, with Edwards caddying for Watson at most events after that for a period of many years.[8]

Watson contended in a major championship for the first time at the U.S. Open in 1974 at Winged Foot, but he faded badly in the final round after having the 54-hole lead. Following this disappointment, Watson was approached in the locker room by legendary retired player Byron Nelson, a broadcaster at the event, who offered encouragement, insight and assistance. Nelson and Watson spoke briefly at that time, with Nelson saying he liked Watson's game and aggressiveness, and offered to help him improve. Watson, although disappointed by his weak finish, was flattered to receive Nelson's interest. However, the two men did not manage to get together to work on golf in depth until several months later, when Watson played in the Tour's Byron Nelson Classic in the Dallas area, and visited Nelson's nearby home. The two men would eventually develop a close and productive teacher-student relationship and friendship; Nelson had similarly mentored the young rising star Ken Venturi during the 1950s.[9][10]

Only two weeks after the Winged Foot collapse in 1974, Watson won his first Tour title at the Western Open near Chicago, coming from six shots back in the final round at Butler National.[11][12] With Nelson's guidance on swing mechanics and course management, and determined hard work, Watson's game advanced quickly, and he won his first major championship, the 1975 Open Championship, on his first appearance in the event in Britain. Watson holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole to tie Jack Newton. The following day Watson won an 18-hole playoff at Carnoustie by a stroke, carding a 71 to Newton's 72. Watson was able to gain the upper hand in the playoff after chipping in for an eagle at the 14th hole.[13] Watson is one of only four players since World War II to have won the Open Championship on their debut, the others being Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Lema (1964) and Ben Curtis (2003).[14]

Watson won his second major championship and his first green jacket as Masters champion in 1977 after a duel with Jack Nicklaus. During the final round Watson stood on the 17th green tied with Nicklaus for the lead. Watson holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie to go one stroke ahead of Nicklaus. Watson's par on the 18th hole won him the Masters title by two strokes after Nicklaus had a bogey on the 18th.

Watson's 1977 Open Championship victory, at Turnberry in Scotland, was especially memorable, and is considered by many to be the finest tournament played in the second half of the 20th century. After two rounds, he and Jack Nicklaus were one shot out of the lead and paired for the third round. Both shot 65, ending the third round three shots clear of the field. Watson and Nicklaus were again paired for the final round. On the last day, the two were tied after 16 holes. Nicklaus missed a makeable birdie putt on 17, losing his share of the lead to Watson, who birdied 17. On the 18th, Nicklaus drove into the rough, while Watson drove the fairway. Watson's approach landed two feet from the flag, while Nicklaus, after a drive into deep rough and near a gorse plant, managed to get his approach 40 feet away. Nicklaus sank his birdie putt to finish with a 66, but Watson followed suit with his own birdie, finishing with a second straight 65 and his second Open, with a record score of 268 (12 under par). The two players finished well ahead of the other challengers (Hubert Green in third place was ten strokes behind Nicklaus, at 279), and shot the same score every round except for the final day, which was then played on Saturday.

In 1978, as defending Masters champion, Watson needed a par on the 18th hole of his final round to tie over 72 holes with Gary Player, who had shot a record-tying final round of 64. However, Watson missed out on a playoff by sending his approach shot to the 18th into the gallery and missing the 10-foot par putt he needed for a playoff. He finished tied for 2nd place at Augusta, one stroke behind Gary Player.[15] Watson had five PGA Tour victories in 1978, but he also had one of the biggest disappointments of his career in that year's PGA Championship in August at Oakmont. Watson had a five-shot lead after 54 holes, but lost the tournament in a 3-way sudden-death playoff to John Mahaffey. This would be the closest that Watson came to landing the one major title that eluded him.[16]

In 1979, Watson had a further five PGA Tour victories, including a five-shot victory in the Sea Pines Heritage Classic, which he won with a then tournament record 14-under par 270.[17] Watson again finished runner-up at the Masters in 1979, when he lost in a 3-way sudden-death playoff to Fuzzy Zoeller. This was the first sudden-death playoff at the Masters, with the previous playoff at Augusta in 1970 having taken place on Monday under an 18-hole format. Watson also finished 2nd in The Players Championship in 1979.


Watson had an outstanding year in 1980. A brilliant third round of 64 at Muirfield helped him to win his third Open Championship title in Britain by four strokes. He was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour for the fourth consecutive year, winning six tournaments in America. Watson showed tremendous consistency in 1980, with sixteen top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour that year.[18] In August 1980, after his sixth victory of the year in America, Watson said: "I love this game. I feel that dedication is the only way to improve. I've been more consistent this year than in the previous three years."[19]

In 1981, Watson won his second Masters title at Augusta by two strokes over Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. Watson had a further two Tour victories in 1981 at the USF&G New Orleans Open and the Atlanta Classic.

The U.S. Open was the major that Watson most wanted to win. In 1982 at Pebble Beach, he was able to realize his dream after an engaging duel with Jack Nicklaus in one of the most memorable major championships of all time. Playing three groups ahead of Watson in the final round, Nicklaus charged into a share of the lead with five consecutive birdies. When Watson reached the par-3 17th hole the two were still tied, but with Nicklaus safely in the clubhouse at 4-under par 284. Watson hit his tee shot on the 17th into the rough just off the green, leaving an extremely difficult chip shot downhill on a very fast green. While being interviewed on national television and fully aware of Watson's perilous predicament, Nicklaus appeared confident he was on his way to an unprecedented fifth U.S. Open championship. Watson's chip shot, amazingly, hit the flag stick and fell into the cup, giving him a miraculous birdie and setting the stage for yet another win over Nicklaus. Watson went on to birdie the 18th as well, for a final margin of two shots. His 17th hole chip-in was named the greatest shot in golf history by U.S. television channel ESPN.

The following month in July 1982 at Royal Troon in Scotland, Watson became only the third golfer since World War II to win the U.S. Open and Open Championship in the same year after Ben Hogan (1953) and Lee Trevino (1971) - a feat later matched by Tiger Woods (2000).[20] After the first two rounds of the 1982 Open Championship, Watson was seven shots behind the leader Bobby Clampett, whose commanding lead was reduced after a third round of 78. During the final round, Nick Price, who was playing in one of the groups behind Watson, gained the lead. Watson stood on the 18th tee of the final round two strokes behind Price. Watson waited patiently after his round as Price's lead evaporated, leaving Watson the Open winner by one stroke.[21]

In 1983, as defending U.S. Open champion at Oakmont, Watson shared the 54-hole lead with Seve Ballesteros. In the final round though, Watson missed a 6-foot putt for par on the 17th and finished in 2nd place, one stroke behind the winner Larry Nelson.[22] The following month in July 1983, Watson won his fifth Open Championship and the last of his eight majors at Royal Birkdale, his only Open victory on English soil. (His four other titles came in Scotland.)[23]

In 1984, Watson finished runner-up for the third time at the Masters, finishing two strokes behind the champion Ben Crenshaw. Watson had three Tour wins in 1984, including his third victory in the Western Open after a playoff against Greg Norman. A fortnight later in the 1984 Open Championship at St Andrews, Watson was in contention during the final holes to win a third consecutive Open and a sixth Open Championship overall to tie the record for the most Open wins by Harry Vardon. However, Watson bogeyed the par-4 "Road Hole" 17th and Seve Ballesteros birdied the 18th, resulting in a victory for Ballesteros and Watson finishing in a tie for 2nd place.[24]

After his runner-up finish in the 1984 British Open, Watson did not manage to win a PGA Tour event for the next three years until the 1987 Nabisco Championship. Watson went from being the PGA Tour money leader in 1984[25] to finishing 18th on the PGA Tour's money list in 1985.[25] As a result of a decline in form, Watson missed out on a place in the 1985 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

In the 1986 Hawaiian Open, Watson was the third round leader and was aiming to end his winless streak since July 1984. However, Watson bogeyed the 71st and 72nd holes and finished in a tie for 3rd place, behind the winner Corey Pavin.[26]

In the 1987 U.S. Open, Watson had a one-shot lead going into the final round at the Olympic Club. Watson was a gallery favorite during the tournament. He had strong support from the spectators having played golf for Stanford University, 30 miles south of the Olympic Club in San Francisco.[27] He was aiming to win his ninth major championship, which would have tied him for major wins with Ben Hogan and Gary Player, but Watson lost the tournament by a stroke to Scott Simpson. In the final round, Simpson had three consecutive birdies on the back-nine to take the lead. Watson's 45-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole which would have forced a playoff with Simpson was about two inches short.[28]

Watson's stellar play on the PGA Tour faded in the late 1980s when he began to have problems putting even though his tee-to-green game seemed to improve. During this period he had some near-misses in tournaments. Watson finished 2nd at the 1988 NEC World Series of Golf, missing a 3-foot putt in a playoff against Mike Reid.[29]

In 1989, Watson was in contention during the Open Championship at Royal Troon, but he finished in 4th place, two strokes outside the playoff between Mark Calcavecchia, Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.


At the 1991 Masters Tournament, Watson stood on the 18th tee in the final round at Augusta with a share of the lead but had a double-bogey 6 to finish in a tie for 3rd place, two strokes behind the champion Ian Woosnam.[30] It was Watson's 15th consecutive top-20 finish at The Masters, having finished in the top-10 of The Masters in 13 of the 15 years between 1977 and 1991.

In 1994, when The Open Championship returned to Turnberry, the site of his 1977 victory, Watson commented, "Sometimes you lose your desire through the years. Any golfer goes through that. When you play golf for a living, like anything in your life, you are never going to be constantly, at the top".[31] He finished tied for 11th at the Open Championship that year, but he had a revival in the late 1990s, winning the 1996 Memorial Tournament and gaining the last of his 39 wins on the PGA Tour at the 1998 MasterCard Colonial when he was 48 years old.

In 1997 Watson won the Japan Golf Tour's prestigious Dunlop Phoenix tournament for the second time. It was the last of his four victories in Japan.

In the 2003 U.S. Open, at age 53, he shared the opening-round lead by shooting a 65 with his long-time caddy Bruce Edwards carrying his clubs and giving advice. Edwards had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease earlier in the year, and Watson contributed significant time and money that year with Bruce to raise money for research into finding a cure for motor neuron disease. Edwards died on April 8, 2004.

Watson was one of two players to play with Jack Nicklaus in the final two rounds of golf in Nicklaus' career, which ended at the 2005 Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews. Englishman Luke Donald was the third member of the group.

In the first round of the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, Watson shot a 5-under 65, one stroke behind the leader Miguel Ángel Jiménez.[32] In the second round, he tied for the lead after making a huge putt on the 18th green. His score for the round was 70, 38 out and 32 back. This made Watson – at 59 years of age – the oldest man to have the lead after any round of a major. In addition, with a relatively low-scoring third round, one-over par 71, he kept the lead outright by one shot, so also became the oldest player to lead a major going into the last round. He acknowledged after that 3rd round he was thinking of Bruce Edwards as he walked the 18th fairway.[33]

Watson finished regulation 72-hole play in the Open tied for the lead with Stewart Cink, with a cumulative score of −2. He needed a par on the 72nd hole to capture a sixth career Open Championship title, but his second shot on the 72nd hole went over the green. Then, from several yards behind the 18th green, Watson first putted up the slope and past the hole, then missed a second 8-foot putt by about 6 inches to the right of the cup. His bogey led to a four-hole aggregate playoff with Cink, running through the 5th, 6th, 17th, and 18th holes. With several errant shots not typical of the previous 72 holes, he lost the playoff by six strokes.[34]

The following April, Watson competed in the 2010 Masters Tournament. Watson shot an opening-round 67, one shot off the first-round lead held by fellow Champions Tour player Fred Couples. Watson subsequently posted rounds of 74, 73, and 73. His 72-hole, one-under par total of 287 gave Watson a share of eighteenth place. Watson thus became only the second player in history, after Sam Snead, to post a top-20 finish in at least one major championship in five different decades. Watson holds the record for the longest time span between first and last playoffs on the PGA Tour. That time span is 34 years, 6 days. Watson won the 1975 Open Championship in an 18-hole playoff and 34 years later lost a playoff for the 2009 Open Championship.

Due to his performance in 2009 and early 2010, along with his 1982 U.S. Open victory at Pebble Beach, the USGA awarded Watson a special exemption to the 2010 U.S. Open. He finished the tournament tied for 29th. Watson is the only golfer to participate in all major professional championships contested at Pebble Beach: 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, and 2010 U.S. Opens, and the 1977 PGA Championship.

Watson got an ace on the 6th hole during the second round of the 2011 Open Championship. It was the second ace of the week after Dustin Johnson got one on 16 the day before.

In an interview in 2012, Watson admitted that he was "distraught" at coming so close to becoming the oldest Major winner at the age of 59 and said that the experience in the 2009 British Open "tore his guts out". Watson said of his approach shot to the green at the 72nd hole, when he needed a par to win the Open: "I was going right at the flag but with the uncertainty of links golf, maybe a gust of wind took it a bit further than it was supposed to. I felt extreme disappointment that night but the one good thing that came of that was the response of people around the world."[35]

For the 2015 Open Championship, Watson's exemption for his 2009 finish was extended to give him an opportunity to play at St. Andrews and make one final Open appearance. Watson won Open Championships at five different courses, but St. Andrews was not among them. He missed the cut and made an emotional walk across the Swilcan Bridge at twilight.[36] In April 2016, he played in his final Masters. After saying in the lead up to the event that he 'couldn't compete' anymore,[37] Watson missed the cut by two strokes.[38]

Despite no longer competing at the full Masters, Watson won the 2018 Masters Tournament Par-3 contest at the age of 68, the oldest ever to win the event.

In July 2019, Watson played his final competitive event on British soil, when he played in the Senior British Open for the final time.[39]


He demonstrated remarkable consistency by making at least one PGA Tour cut per year from 1971–2007, a streak of 37 years.

Watson is the only golfer to score a round of 67 or less in all 4 majors at least once in 4 different decades. His best round in the Masters is a 67. His first 67 came in 1977. Other 67s were scored in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s. His most recent 67 at Augusta was his opening round in 2010. His US Open low score is a 65. He scored 65 in 1987 and 2003, 66 in 1993 and he first shot 67 in 1975. At the British Open, Watson's low score is a 64 in 1980. 65s were scored in 1977 (twice), 1994 and 2009 (all 65s at the Open were scored at Turnberry). Finally at the PGA Championship, Watson's low score of the 1970s was a 66 in 1979. In the 1980s he scored a 67 in 1980, 1983, 1985, and 1989. His low PGA score is a 65 in 1993 & 2000.

Watson also sets a record for having a round of 65 or less in at least one of the majors in 4 different decades. 1970s: 1977 British Open (65 in rounds 3 and 4), 1980s: 1980 British Open (64 in round 3), 1990s: 1993 PGA Championship (65 in round 2), and 2000s: 2000 PGA Championship (65 in round 3).

Watson's 67 in the first round at the 2010 Masters also gives him a record to be the only person to have at least one round of 67 or less in any of the four majors in five different decades (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s).

Champions Tour

Watson joined the Champions Tour in 1999, the same year he earned an honorary membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland. He has 14 wins on the Champions Tour, including six senior majors, while playing a limited schedule of events. Watson shares with Gary Player and Bernard Langer three victories for each in the Senior Open Championship. Watson revisited his 1977 Open Championship win at Turnberry with another win there in the 2003 Senior Open Championship. He followed this up with victories in 2005 and 2007.

After residing for many years in Mission Hills, Kansas, Watson moved to Stilwell, Kansas with his wife, two children, and three stepchildren. His house has since been annexed by the city of Overland Park within Johnson County.[1]> He designed the National Golf Club of Kansas City golf course.

Playing style

Watson has been one of the most complete players ever to play golf, as evidenced by his competitiveness in the 2009 Open Championship at the age of 59. Standing 5 ft 9 in and weighing 160 pounds during his PGA Tour years, he achieved abundant length with accuracy, played aggressively, developed a superlative short game, and in his prime was a very skilled and confident putter. Watson is renowned as an exceptional bad-weather golfer, having displayed this gritty talent best in the difficult and varied conditions of The Open Championship. At the height of his career, he was well known for his excellent recovery skills, especially around the greens. Years later, if a player escaped from trouble and somehow made par, tour players described the escape as a "Watson par".[40]

Watson also developed a reputation for scrupulous honesty, once even calling a penalty stroke on himself for slightly moving a ball that was in deep rough, although no one else had seen it.[41] In 1991, Watson was critical of the heckling of his playing partner Ian Woosnam during the final round of the Masters. Some of the Augusta crowd were vociferous in their support for Watson, in the hope of seeing him win a third Masters title. Watson, however, calmed Woosnam after he was upset at being yelled at by a member of the crowd on the 14th tee. Watson later said: "There's been a breakdown in decorum, and I don't feel good when partisanship spills over."[42]

In 2010, Watson said that he agreed with Lee Westwood's assertion that Tour players who used 20-year-old Ping-Eye 2 wedges to get around new rules prohibiting box grooves (i.e., grooves rectangular [including square] or U-shaped in cross-section) were going against "the spirit of the game." Watson also reprimanded Tiger Woods for his "language and club-throwing" and said that Woods needed to "show humility" to the public.[43]

Watson has been outspoken about the effect that too much prize money can have on some golfers. In an interview in 2010, Watson said: "I do believe that, in certain instances, players can be corrupted by the amount of money they make. I think too much money corrupts the desire and for some players it's about how much money they make rather than just trying to be the best player they can."[44]

Distinctions and honors

Professional wins (70)

PGA Tour wins (39)

Major championships (8)
Tour Championship (1)
Other PGA Tour (30)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
share ($)
1Jun 30, 1974Western Open72-71-75-69=287+32 strokesUnited States J. C. Snead, United States Tom Weiskopf40,000
2May 12, 1975Byron Nelson Golf Classic72-63-69-65=269−152 strokesUnited States35,000
3Jul 13, 1975The Open Championship71-67-69-72=279−9PlayoffAustralia Jack Newton16,500
4Jan 23, 1977Bing Crosby National Pro-Am66-69-67-71=273−151 strokeEngland Tony Jacklin40,000
5Jan 30, 1977Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational66-67-67-69=269−195 strokesUnited States Larry Nelson, United States John Schroeder36,000
6Apr 10, 1977Masters Tournament70-69-70-67=276−122 strokesUnited States Jack Nicklaus40,000
7Jun 26, 1977Western Open (2)70-69-75-69=283−51 strokeUnited States Wally Armstrong, United States Johnny Miller40,000
8Jul 9, 1977The Open Championship (2)68-70-65-65=268−121 strokeUnited States Jack Nicklaus17,000
9Jan 8, 1978Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open63-68-73-72=274−143 strokesUnited States Bobby Wadkins40,000
10Jan 23, 1978Bing Crosby National Pro-Am (2)66-74-71-69=280−8PlayoffUnited States Ben Crenshaw45,000
11May 7, 1978Byron Nelson Golf Classic (2)69-67-70-66=272−81 strokeUnited States Lee Trevino40,000
12Aug 27, 1978Colgate Hall of Fame Classic72-67-67-71=277−71 strokeUnited States Hale Irwin, United States Tom Kite,
United States Howard Twitty
13Sep 24, 1978Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic68-69-66-67=270−183 strokesUnited States Ed Sneed40,000
14Apr 1, 1979Sea Pines Heritage Classic65-65-69-71=270−145 strokesUnited States Ed Sneed54,000
15Apr 22, 1979MONY Tournament of Champions69-66-70-70=275−136 strokesUnited States Bruce Lietzke, United States Jerry Pate54,000
16May 13, 1979Byron Nelson Golf Classic (3)64-72-69-70=275−5PlayoffUnited States Bill Rogers54,000
17May 27, 1979Memorial Tournament73-69-72-71=285−33 strokesUnited States Miller Barber54,000
18Aug 26, 1979Colgate Hall of Fame Classic (2)70-68-65-69=272−12PlayoffUnited States Johnny Miller45,000
19Jan 27, 1980Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational (2)68-69-68-70=275−13PlayoffUnited States D. A. Weibring45,000
20Feb 24, 1980Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open69-66-70-71=276−81 strokeUnited States Bob Gilder, United States Don January45,000
21Apr 20, 1980MONY Tournament of Champions (2)65-66-72-73=276−123 strokesUnited States Jim Colbert54,000
22Apr 27, 1980Greater New Orleans Open66-68-66-73=273−152 strokesUnited States Lee Trevino45,000
23May 11, 1980Byron Nelson Golf Classic (4)64-70-69-71=274−61 strokeUnited States Bill Rogers54,000
24Jul 20, 1980The Open Championship (3)68-70-64-69=271−134 strokesUnited States Lee Trevino60,000
25Aug 24, 1980World Series of Golf65-75-65-65=270−102 strokesUnited States Raymond Floyd100,000
26Apr 12, 1981Masters Tournament (2)71-68-70-71=280−82 strokesUnited States Johnny Miller, United States Jack Nicklaus60,000
27Apr 26, 1981USF&G New Orleans Open (2)69-69-64-68=270−182 strokesUnited States Bruce Fleisher63,000
28Jun 7, 1981Atlanta Classic68-70-68-71=277−11PlayoffUnited States Tommy Valentine54,000
29Feb 21, 1982Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open (2)69-67-68-67=271−13PlayoffUnited States Johnny Miller54,000
30Mar 28, 1982Sea Pines Heritage (2)69-68-72-71=280−4PlayoffUnited States Frank Conner54,000
31Jun 20, 1982U.S. Open72-72-68-70=282−62 strokesUnited States Jack Nicklaus60,000
32Jul 18, 1982The Open Championship (4)69-71-74-70=284−41 strokeEngland Peter Oosterhuis, Zimbabwe Nick Price54,400
33Jul 17, 1983The Open Championship (5)67-68-70-70=275−91 strokeUnited States Andy Bean, United States Hale Irwin60,000
34Jan 8, 1984Seiko-Tucson Match Play Championship2 & 1United States Gil Morgan100,000
35May 6, 1984MONY Tournament of Champions (3)69-71-67-67=274−145 strokesUnited States Bruce Lietzke72,000
36Jul 8, 1984Western Open (3)71-69-70-70=280−8PlayoffAustralia Greg Norman72,000
37Nov 1, 1987Nabisco Championship65-66-69-68=268−122 strokesUnited States Chip Beck360,000
38Jun 2, 1996Memorial Tournament (2)70-68-66-70=274−142 strokesUnited States David Duval324,000
39May 24, 1998MasterCard Colonial68-66-65-66=265−152 strokesUnited States Jim Furyk414,000

PGA Tour playoff record (9–5)

11975The Open ChampionshipAustralia Jack NewtonWon 18-hole playoff (Watson:71, Newton:72)
21978Bing Crosby National Pro-AmUnited States Ben CrenshawWon with par on second extra hole
31978PGA ChampionshipUnited States Jerry Pate, United States John MahaffeyMahaffey won with birdie on second extra hole
41979Masters TournamentUnited States Ed Sneed, United States Fuzzy ZoellerZoeller won with birdie on second extra hole
51979Byron Nelson Golf ClassicUnited States Bill RogersWon with birdie on first extra hole
61979Colgate Hall of Fame ClassicUnited States Johnny MillerWon with par on second extra hole
71980Andy Williams-San Diego Open InvitationalUnited States D. A. WeibringWon with par on first extra hole
81981Byron Nelson Golf ClassicUnited States Bruce LietzkeLost to par on first extra hole
91981Atlanta ClassicUnited States Tommy ValentineWon with par on third extra hole
101982Glen Campbell-Los Angeles OpenUnited States Johnny MillerWon with birdie on third extra hole
111982Sea Pines Heritage ClassicUnited States Frank ConnerWon with par on third extra hole
121984Western OpenAustralia Greg NormanWon with birdie on third extra hole
131988NEC World Series of GolfUnited States Mike ReidLost to par on first extra hole
142009The Open ChampionshipUnited States Stewart CinkLost four-hole aggregate playoff
Cink 4-3-4-3=14 (−2), Watson 5-3-7-5=20 (+4)

Japan Golf Tour wins (4)

Australian Tour wins (1)

Other wins (3)

Champions Tour wins (14)

Senior major championships (6)
Other Champions Tour (8)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
1Sep 19, 1999Bank One Championship67-67-62=196−205 strokesUnited States Bruce Summerhays
2Nov 5, 2000IR Senior Tour Championship70-67-67-66=270−181 strokeUnited States John Jacobs
3May 27, 2001Senior PGA Championship72-69-66-67=274−141 strokeUnited States Jim Thorpe
4Oct 22, 2002Senior Tour Championship at Gaillardia74-67-66-67=274−141 strokeUnited States Gil Morgan
5Jul 27, 2003The Senior Open Championship66-67-66-64=263−17PlayoffEngland Carl Mason
6Aug 31, 2003JELD-WEN Tradition68-62-73-70=273−151 strokeUnited States Jim Ahern, United States Tom Kite
7Jul 24, 2005The Senior Open Championship (2)75-71-64-70=280−4PlayoffRepublic of Ireland Des Smyth
8Oct 30, 2005Charles Schwab Cup Championship69-70-69-64=272−163 strokesUnited States Jay Haas
9Feb 18, 2007Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am70-69-70=209−41 strokeUnited States Andy Bean, United States Jay Haas
10Jul 29, 2007The Senior Open Championship (3)70-71-70-73=284E1 strokeAustralia Stewart Ginn, United States Mark O'Meara
11Apr 20, 2008Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am (2)63-71-70=204−91 strokeUnited States Jay Haas, United States Scott Hoch
12Apr 27, 2008Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Andy North)59-62-64=185−311 strokeUnited States Craig Stadler and United States Jeff Sluman
13Jan 24, 2010Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai63-66-65=194−221 strokeUnited States Fred Couples
14May 29, 2011Senior PGA Championship (2)70-70-68-70=278−10PlayoffUnited States David Eger

Champions Tour playoff record (3–8)

12000Boone Valley ClassicSpain José Maria Cañizares, United States Walter Hall
United States Lanny Wadkins
Wadkins won with par on third extra hole
Hall and Watson eliminated with par on first hole
22000The Countrywide TraditionUnited States Tom Kite, United States Larry NelsonKite won with birdie on sixth extra hole
Nelson eliminated with par on second hole
32002SBC Senior ClassicUnited States Tom KiteLost to par on second extra hole
42002U.S. Senior OpenUnited States Don PooleyLost to birdie on fifth extra hole after 3-hole playoff (Pooley:12, Watson:12)
52003Kinko's Classic of AustinUnited States Hale IrwinLost to birdie on second extra hole
62003The Senior Open ChampionshipEngland Carl MasonWon with par on second extra hole
72004ACE Group ClassicUnited States Gary Koch, United States Craig StadlerStadler won with birdie on second extra hole
82005MasterCard ChampionshipUnited States Dana QuigleyLost to par on third extra hole
92005Bayer Advantage ClassicUnited States Gil Morgan, United States Dana QuigleyQuigley won with birdie on first extra hole
102005The Senior Open ChampionshipRepublic of Ireland Des SmythWon with par on third extra hole
112011Senior PGA ChampionshipUnited States David EgerWon with birdie on first extra hole

Other senior wins (9)

Major championships

Wins (8)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner(s)-up
1975The Open Championship3 shot deficit−9 (71-67-69-72=279)Playoff 1Australia Jack Newton
1977Masters TournamentTied for lead−12 (70-69-70-67=276)2 strokesUnited States Jack Nicklaus
1977The Open Championship (2)Tied for lead−12 (68-70-65-65=268)1 strokeUnited States Jack Nicklaus
1980The Open Championship (3)4 shot lead−13 (68-70-64-69=271)4 strokesUnited States Lee Trevino
1981Masters Tournament (2)1 shot lead−8 (71-68-70-71=280)2 strokesUnited States Johnny Miller, United States Jack Nicklaus
1982U.S. OpenTied for lead−6 (72-72-68-70=282)2 strokesUnited States Jack Nicklaus
1982The Open Championship (4)3 shot deficit−4 (69-71-74-70=284)1 strokeEngland Peter Oosterhuis, Zimbabwe Nick Price
1983The Open Championship (5)1 shot lead−9 (67-68-70-70=275)1 strokeUnited States Andy Bean, United States Hale Irwin

1 Defeated Jack Newton in 18-hole playoff – Watson (71), Newton (72)

Results timeline

Masters TournamentCUTT8T331T2T2
The Open Championship1CUT1T14T26
PGA ChampionshipT12T119T15T6T2T12
Masters TournamentT121T5T42T10T6T7T9T14
U.S. OpenT3T2312T11CUTT242T36T46
The Open Championship1T2311T2T47T357T284
PGA ChampionshipT10CUTT9T47T39T6T16T14T31T9
Masters TournamentT7T3T48T4513T14CUT4CUTCUT
U.S. OpenCUTT16CUTT5T6T56T1364CUTT57
The Open ChampionshipCUTT26CUTCUTT11T31T10CUTCUT
PGA ChampionshipT19CUTT625T9T58T17CUTCUTCUT
U.S. OpenT27T28
The Open ChampionshipT55CUTCUTT18T41T48CUT2
PGA ChampionshipT9T66T48CUT
U.S. OpenT29
The Open ChampionshipCUTT22T77CUTT51CUT
PGA ChampionshipCUTCUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut (3rd round cut in 1976 Open Championship)
"T" indicates a tie for a place.


TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament231915204324
U.S. Open121611163125
The Open Championship520810153826
PGA Championship010210183325
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 19 (1985 Open Championship – 1990 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 7 (1982 Masters – 1983 Open Championship)

Results in The Players Championship

The Players ChampionshipCUTT8T9T5CUT2T3CUTT6T19T8T55T58CUTCUTT11
The Players ChampionshipT36T20T210T14T29T33T53T35T62
  Top 10

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Senior major championships

Wins (6)

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMarginRunner(s)-up
2001Senior PGA ChampionshipTied for lead−14 (72-69-66-67=274)1 strokeUnited States Jim Thorpe
2003The Senior Open Championship3 shot deficit−17 (66-67-66-64=263)Playoff 1England Carl Mason
2003JELD-WEN Tradition1 shot deficit−15 (68-62-73-70=273)1 strokeUnited States Jim Ahern, United States Tom Kite, United States Gil Morgan
2005The Senior Open Championship (2)1 shot lead−4 (75-71-64-70=280)Playoff 2Republic of Ireland Des Smyth
2007The Senior Open Championship (3)1 shot deficitE (70-71-70-73=284)1 strokeAustralia Stewart Ginn, United States Mark O'Meara
2011Senior PGA Championship (2)1 shot deficit−10 (70-70-68-70=278)Playoff 3United States David Eger

1 Defeated Mason in a playoff with par at the second extra hole.
2 Defeated Smyth in a playoff with par at the third extra hole.
3 Defeated Eger in a playoff with birdie at the first extra hole.

Results timeline

Results not in chronological order before 2017.

The Tradition251T55T9T14T6T3T5
Senior PGA ChampionshipT171T18T17T4T27T23T52T164
U.S. Senior OpenT10T1622T25T524T23T43
Senior Players ChampionshipT18T8T2T3T1722
The Senior Open Championship1T221T231T5T8
The TraditionT15T32T6T13
Senior PGA ChampionshipT181T282CUT
U.S. Senior Open5T22T23T7T54T40T17
Senior Players Championship66T28T20T27T25
The Senior Open ChampionshipT24T3T10T36T10T15T27T23T21T64

Note: The Senior British Open was not a Champions Tour major until 2003.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

U.S. national team appearances


Golf courses designed

Tom Watson Parkway at the National Golf Club in Parkville

Watson is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has designed golf courses through his Tom Watson Design company in Johnson County, Kansas.[50]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Hammill, Roxie (June 21, 2016). "Tom Watson and neighbors lose Overland Park annexation fight". The Kansas City Star.
  2. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "1977 Tom Watson". The Open. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "Tom Watson returns as Ryder Cup captain". USA Today. December 13, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "Missouri Golf Association Amateur – Record of Champions" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Garrity, John (July 17, 1995). "Point Of View While Golfing Great Tom Watson Remains A Hero On The Course, His Way Of Looking At The World And His Penchant For Speaking Out Have Turned Him Into A Heavy Off It". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  7. ^ "Donor Lookup". OpenSecrets. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Feinstein, John (2004). Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-77788-9.
  9. ^ Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' to the Dance Floor. Atheneum. ISBN 978-0689115172.
  10. ^ Frost, Mark (2007). The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-1-4013-0278-8.
  11. ^ Tomashek, Tom (July 1, 1974). "Weiskopf fades, Watson wins by 2". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 3.
  12. ^ "Tom Watson Wins Western Open As Tom Weiskopf's Game Collapses". Observer-Reporter. (Washington, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. July 1, 1974. p. B4.
  13. ^ "Modest Watson joins the great Ben Hogan". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. July 15, 1975. p. 24. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  14. ^ "Facts and Figures – The 141st Open Championship 2012". PGA European Tour. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "Player wins Masters from 7 back". Southeast Missourian. April 10, 1978. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  16. ^ "1978: Never count a golfer out". PGA of America. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  17. ^ "Watson wins Heritage, confident for Masters". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. UPI. April 2, 1979. p. 1D. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Finishes". PGA Tour. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  19. ^ "Watson Wins World Golf Series". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. AP. August 25, 1980. p. 3B. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "Webb Simpson could miss British Open as he awaits birth of his second child". PGA of America. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  21. ^ "Watson Captures 4th British Title". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. AP. July 19, 1982. p. 12. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  22. ^ Anderson, Dave (June 21, 1983). "The 17th hole gets even with Watson". Times-News. Hendersonville, North Carolina. p. 13. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  23. ^ "Watson wins fifth British". Milwaukee Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. UPI. July 18, 1983. p. 1, part 2. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  24. ^ "Ballesteros Wins Open With Final-Hole Birdie". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio. AP. July 23, 1984. p. 19. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  25. ^ a b "Money Leaders". PGA Tour. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  26. ^ "Pavin Captures Hawaiian Open". Milwaukee Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. February 17, 1986. p. 4, part2. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  27. ^ McGrath, John (June 11, 2012). "The Olympic Club an exclusive graveyard". The News Tribune. Tacoma, Washington. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  28. ^ "Simpson wins U.S. Open for first major golf title". The Daily News. Middlesboro, Kentucky. AP. June 22, 1987. p. 8. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  29. ^ Dias, Roberto (August 29, 1988). "Reid Beats Watson In Sudden Death: Earns $162,000 At World Series Of Golf". Deseret News. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  30. ^ Diaz, Jaime (April 15, 1991). "Woosnam Wins On 18th Green". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60239-014-0.
  32. ^ "Legend Watson shines at Turnberry". BBC Sport. July 16, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  33. ^ Reason, Mark (July 18, 2009). "The Open 2009: Tom Watson edges closer to fulfilling the impossible dream". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  34. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (July 20, 2009). "The Open 2009: timeline from Turnberry". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  35. ^ McLean, Euan (May 15, 2012). "Tom Watson can't wait for Turnberry return in Senior Open as he looks to exorcise agony of 2009". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  36. ^ Inglis, Martin (July 18, 2015). "Tom Watson waves goodbye in the twilight". bunkered.
  37. ^ "Tom Watson: 'I can't compete anymore'". bunkered. April 6, 2016.
  38. ^ "Tom Watson emotional as he exits The Masters". bunkered. April 8, 2016.
  39. ^ McEwan, Michael (July 28, 2019). "Tom Watson makes major announcement". bunkered.
  40. ^ Feinstein, John (2004). Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
  41. ^ Lenobel, Hal (April 30, 2011). "Golf is the Last Honest Game". Longboat Key News. Longboat Key, Florida. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  42. ^ Berlet, Bruce (April 9, 1992). "Woosnam In Search Of His Winning Form". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  43. ^ MacGinty, Karl (February 4, 2010). "Tom Watson on warpath over Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods". The Belfast Telegraph. Belfast. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  44. ^ Davey, Neil. "Tom Watson - Saga talks to golf's Mr Nice Guy". Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  45. ^ Watson out of Cup
  46. ^ Race & Ethnic Relations, 7th edition, Marger 2006
  47. ^ Yocom, Guy (July 2000). "50 Greatest Golfers of All Time: And What They Taught Us". Golf Digest. Archived from the original on September 16, 2004. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  48. ^ Ballengee, Ryan (April 9, 2015). "Tom Watson shoots 71, becomes oldest to break par at the Masters". Yahoo! Sports.
  49. ^ Daniels, Tim (April 4, 2018). "Masters Par 3 Tournament 2018: Tom Watson Becomes Oldest Winner in History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  50. ^ press release
  51. ^

External links