x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tom Watson's winning ways still as strong as ever

Tom Watson, 61, is still playing some wonderful golf and still winning major tournaments.

It probably went unnoticed by most that Tom Watson won his 14th major title on Sunday.

At the age of 61, one of the most popular players to grace the game became the oldest man to win the Senior PGA Championship since the Champions Tour was formed 12 years ago.

And he did it in extra holes. Watson beat David Eger, 59, in a play-off at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

This is a remarkable achievement from an incredible man.

Watson is the most successful player in Champions Tour history having won six of the big ones in which the over-50s compete. He adds those to the eight majors he won in his prime: five British Opens, two US Masters and one US Open.

Nobody comes close to this level of consistency over this 35-year period. And all those championships come with class, dignity and a genuine respect for the people who have cheered him along the way.

His great friend and rival, Jack Nicklaus, won more, and Tiger Woods, at his peak, was a better player. Yet Watson is probably the nicest person ever to swing a club. Any long putt of his that dropped always got a loud cheer in our house while transfixed to the telvision set. The man from Kansas City will be at the British Open in Kent next month and then stay on for the senior event at Walton Heath.

Do not count against him doing well in one and winning the other. And who is to say which one he has a better chance in?

ncameron@thenational.ae