Big finish for Watson after an early start

On a high: Tom Watson fires a final-round 69.TOM Watson’s roller-coaster Australian Open campaign ended on a high on Sunday, with the 63-year-old capitalising on the friendly morning conditions to post the best score before the wind suspension.

While the eight-time major winner enjoyed the luxury of teeing off in near perfect conditions at 6.56am, he still managed a nine-shot turnaround from his previous round.

His three-under round of 69, one shot off his tournament best on day two, enabled Watson to finish the tournament at five over.

He’s been battling illness and has had jet lag during his time in Sydney, but he made no excuses.

”I’m not making excuses but it’s a fact that I wasn’t in a very good shape as far as my body is concerned,” Watson said on Sunday.

”With no sleep yesterday, and the day before was kind of the same way, and I had about four hours’ sleep there. Yesterday I relaxed too much and I played a lot of stupid shots. Nothing on the club face.

”I felt a little bit better today. My body was in better shape today than it was yesterday with no sleep. Today I was a little bit more rested and I played some half-decent golf.

”I hit a few shots on the club face. The last shot was a nice shot with a two hybrid in the wind. Kids are hitting four irons and I’m hitting two hybrids. I can see the handwriting on the wall.”

Watson had three birdies and avoided a hiccup on the back nine when the wind began to pick up just after 9am.

With a large contingency of admirers waiting for him on the final hole, Watson missed a putt to end with a birdie, but still received an ovation fit for a player who returned a score of five under, not five over.

He remains undecided whether he’ll return to Sydney next season but refused to rule out another stint at the Australian Open. ”Who knows, who knows – I certainly enjoy being here in this country,” he said.

”Seeing the different things like the outback, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns … there’s just a lot of things that I’ve done. I’d like to go to Tasmania. I’ve been to New Zealand and I’d like to go to Tasmania. I’d like to see the western part of Australia, I haven’t seen that. Maybe before my life ends I’ll make a trip here and spend a couple of weeks and do things like that.

”There’s always a chance [of playing in the Australia Open]. I’m certainly not pleased with the way I’ve played the last two weeks in South Africa and here.

”What I’m taking away from it is that I think I’m moving a little bit. I think I’m moving all over the place with my upper body. I don’t know if that’s just being not able to get through my left side. I’m thinking out loud as far as my swing is concerned.”

While Watson admitted he had not yet been approached about replacing Davis Love as USA Ryder Cup captain for the 2014 tournament in Scotland, he expressed his desire to take on the role. ”It would be pretty cool … It would be cool to be a Ryder Cup captain again,” he said.

”Ninety-three [1993] was the last time I’ve been to a Ryder Cup. I’d like to go back again as a captain. It would be a great honour.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.


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