Tom Watson could add another highlight to his illustrious career with a strong round of golf today.
Watson shot a 2 under-par 68 in the third round of The Greenbrier Classic on Saturday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. That left Watson tied for 43rd place overall at 3-under 207, 9 shots behind leader Billy Hurley III.
Watson, a 64-year-old Kansas City native, made four birdies and two bogeys during the round, helping him move up 27 positions from where he was entering the day
“I played a good round of golf today,” Watson said. “I made a few mistakes, but I’m getting better at the birdies. I made two the first day, three the second day, and four today. So maybe I can go low on the last day.”
If Watson does go low today, he could become the oldest player in PGA Tour history to finish in the top 10 in an official PGA Tour event. Sam Snead was 63 when he tied for eighth at the 1975 B.C. Open.
Watson still hopes to one day break Snead’s record as the oldest winner of a PGA Tour event, set when Snead won his eighth Greater Greensboro Open at age 52 in 1965.
Watson is still a few years away from challenging Snead’s record as the oldest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. Snead was 67 when he did that at the 1979 Westchester Classic.
“I always admired the way Sam played the game,” Watson said. “He had a marvelous touch and rhythm in his golf swing. He was my dad’s favorite swinger of the golf club. When I was growing up, my dad said you have to swing like Snead, son. You have to swing like Snead.
“Well, I never swung like Snead. I never swung with that type of rhythm.”
Watson said being familiar with The Greenbrier course, where he is the pro emeritus, has helped him do better than many of the game’s top young players.
“It’s still a tough golf course,” Watson said. “There are certain holes there that really test me from the length standpoint.”
Hurley, a former U.S. Navy officer, shot 3-under 67 Saturday and leads by 2 shots over Angel Cabrera at 12-under 198.
Among other players with area ties, former Missouri Western player Brice Garnett shot 72 and trails by 8, ex-Kansas golfer Gary Woodland shot 69 and is 10 back and former K-State player Robert Streb shot 69 and is 11 off the pace. Woody Austin of Derby, Kan., shot 70 and missed the cut after the third round.
| The Kansas City Star